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wildsheepchase has commented on (2) products.

The Red Tree by Shaun Tan
The Red Tree

wildsheepchase, October 21, 2010

Today's guest speaker for my editing class was a children's book editor. We did some exercises with various children's books in small groups, and my group got The Red Tree out of sheer luck. Almost as soon as I laid eyes on the cover, I was sucked in and spent several minutes absorbing it from cover to cover. It resonated with me deeply, from the sophisticated art to the tackling of a complex and lesser-acknowledged phenomenon: childhood depression. My adult self identified equally with the feelings given voice in the art, but I can't help but wonder...what if I had read this book at nine years old? The mind boggles.
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Curly Girl: More Than Just Hair...It's an Attitude by Lorraine Massey
Curly Girl: More Than Just Hair...It's an Attitude

wildsheepchase, March 20, 2007

Recently I decided to conduct a little "experiment"–starting to embrace my curly hair rather than being indifferent about it. After getting a few suggestions from the web and a stylist about how to start treating my hair, I happened upon the existence of this book and got it from my local library.

Curly Girl taught me the different types of curls, showed me a radically new (and effective) way of taking care of my hair, let me know it would take about three weeks until the curls really looked great and what to expect in the meantime, and related personal stories of how people's relationship to their hair changed throughout their life as they came to learn how to properly care for their curls.

Additionally, the book provides homemade product recipes for curly hair, shows how curly hair should be cut properly, suggests a number of great ways to style curly hair, shows celebrities with each type of curl, and tries to have a little fun in the process. The book is richly illustrated, including before and after photos, shots to identify each type of curl, step-by-step photos of suggested hairstyles, and more.

I couldn't keep the library book forever, so this morning I called Powell's to buy it. I want to have it around for reference as I continue my curly hair "experiment," which I'm now willing to call a "lifestyle change." So far it has been about two months since I stopped shampooing my hair, and I'm very happy with the results!

Some parts of the book seem a bit fluffy in nature, such as the bits that talk about a curly hair "attitude," and the idea of calling yourself a "curly girl." There are also a number of curl-related puns sprinkled throughout the book. I think this approach is meant to appeal to teen readers, probably at the publisher's insistence. It also would have been nice to see more of a male presence in the book, and more ethnic hair, but again I think this was a deliberate choice based on who the publisher thought the primary market would be. Finally, there is also a photo of Sarah Jessica Parker at the front of the book that has been blown-up to an extremely grainy level, which is hard on the eyes.

Despite its weaknesses, Curly Girl has a ton of very useful information and I'd highly recommend it to anyone who wants to rethink their approach to their curly or wavy hair.
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