Reviews for Dont Touch My Hair!

by Sharee Miller

Kirkus
Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Miller tells it like it is while giving children of color permission to set boundaries when people reach out to touch their curly, kinky, or nappy hair.Aria, a brown-skinned protagonist, opens this picture book by introducing herself with a double-page, gutter-spanning image of her smiling face and her full head of hair that takes up three-quarters of the spread: "I'm Aria, and this is my hair." Aria loves her hair, but others do tooso much so that they want to touch it even without permission. Aria decidedly does not like this. To demonstrate how she avoids touching hands, she appears eight times on one pagein full aerial split, karate-style airborne kick, curled into a fetal position, tentative headstand, and morehemmed in almost all the way around by groping, outstretched hands. Even when she attempts to escape underwater, an octopus and a mermaid chase her, tentacles and arms extended. Wherever she travels, she can't get away from this threatuntil she learns a strategy that works. Miller's variegated watercolor, pencil, and ink illustrations effectively portray Aria's verve as well as her frustrations. The cover image and several others depict disembodied hands and arms in many skin tones reaching for Aria's hair, suggesting that this intrusive behavior can come from anyone.Miller's lighthearted touch effectively delivers a serious, necessary message about respecting boundaries. (Picture book. 3-8) Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.


Publishers Weekly
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Aria is an African-American girl who's proud of her showstopping hair "that grows up toward the sun like a flower." But people keep confusing admiration with acquiescence: strangers, she laments, "are so curious about my hair that they try to touch it without even asking for permission!" It feels like the entire universe has lost its sense of boundaries. In a series of wonderfully expressive, humorous cartoons that mix full-page and spot art, Aria imagines encountering underwater creatures, forest animals, and even aliens who reach for her curls while cooing, "How do you get it so big?" She contemplates hiding; she loses her temper ("That's it. That's enough. DON'T TOUCH MY HAIR!"). Then she resolves to set limits, and, in speaking up for herself, she begins to feel free, respected, and in charge of her own body again. Storytelling by Miller (Princess Hair) is frank, funny, and revelatory, with a beleaguered but never beaten protagonist with whom readers will instantly connect. And her book embraces audiences of all backgrounds, nudging them, in different ways, to a new level of understanding. Ages 4-8. (Nov.) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.


Book list
From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.

Aria loves her soft and bouncy hair and so does everyone else. Aria avoids the intrusive hands of people who want to feel her tresses, with Miller's illustrations ably depicting the anxiety of being surrounded by people disregarding personal space. Aria imagines herself escaping in fantastic scenes where she encounters more creatures who also seek to touch her hair. Finally, she seeks refuge on an island, but gets lonely and reluctantly rejoins civilization. But when yet another person stretches toward her, Aria says, DON'T TOUCH MY HAIR! Aria acknowledges everyone's interest in her hair, and firmly states they can only touch with her permission. The diverse crowd of people around her look repentant, and thereafter, people ask to touch, and listen when Aria says no. This story can jump-start conversations about setting boundaries. Ink drawings with bright watercolors match the positive tone and humor of the story, and colored-pencil scribbles enhance the texture of Aria's hair. Aria is a character with a healthy self-image who demonstrates courage and grace in communicating with others.--Michelle Young Copyright 2018 Booklist


School Library Journal
(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

PreS-Gr 2-Miller follows up Princess Hair with more follicle-related fun. Smiling bright, brown-skinned Aria happily shares the things she loves about her bouncy, beautiful hair. She receives plenty of compliments from others, too, which she enjoys-but she resolutely does not enjoy when people try to touch her hair without asking. In a series of amusing and increasingly wacky situations, Aria tries to flee from overly curious hands, first situating herself behind a shrub, then diving underwater with a mermaid, and even leaving Earth for the safety of space (where she is approached by two meddlesome aliens) all to no avail; everyone still wants to touch her hair! When she finally escapes notice, Aria feels lonely. She returns home, but she has something to say: "This is MY hair.please, just look and don't touch without my permission." Miller has managed to put an upbeat, silly spin on a relatable problem for many children that can be awkward and upsetting. Aria has an adventure, but more importantly, she is able to state her boundaries with others when it comes to physical contact. The book closes with examples of Aria saying both yes and no when asked about her hair, and those wishes being respected. Miller's bold mixed media art is a delight; each page brims with texture, from Aria's ebullient coils filling a spread to the zany houses of her bustling hometown. Young audiences will love pointing out each vibrant detail. VERDICT An engaging, colorful lesson in personal space that will shine whether read aloud or one-on-one.-Ashleigh Williams, School Library Journal Copyright 2018. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Horn Book
(c) Copyright The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

African American girl Aria's "big" and "bouncy" hair is irresistible. From random strangers to mermaids and space aliens, everyone wants to touch Aria's hair. The problem: they do it without her permission. Miller provides a lighthearted way to start discussions about body autonomy and consent, and her vibrant, expressive illustrations clearly visualize why readers should always ask before they touch. (c) Copyright 2019. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.