I knew that I’d like CAN I TOUCH YOUR HAIR by Irene Latham and Charles Waters because I was already a BIG fan of Latham’s work. Her book, WHEN THE SUN SHINES ON ANTARCTICA, is one that I gift to every animal-loving kid I know. Still, I wasn’t prepared for the full-blown love I’d experience when reading her newest.
The blurb: How can Irene and Charles work together on their fifth-grade poetry project? They don’t know each other . . . and they’re not sure they want to.
Irene Latham, who is white, and Charles Waters, who is black, use this fictional setup to delve into different experiences of race in a relatable way, exploring such topics as hair, hobbies, and family dinners. Accompanied by artwork from acclaimed illustrators Sean Qualls and Selina Alko (of The Case for Loving: The Fight for Interracial Marriage), this remarkable collaboration invites readers of all ages to join the dialogue by putting their own words to their experiences.
The book has gotten a ton of praise, including starred reviews from Kirkus and Publishers Weekly, and it’s easy to see why. The poetry is so real you feel like you’re standing next to Irene as she tries to make friends on the playground, or riding with Charles as he deals with rude behavior on the school bus. It’s beautiful and lyrical and oh, so honest.
This is perfect for ages 8 and up. Grab a couple of copies of this book and spread the love!
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