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Crown: An Ode to the Fresh Cut

by Derrick Barnes , Gordon C. James (Illustrator)

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Crown: An Ode to the Fresh Cut
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Overview

Overview

Crown: An Ode to the Fresh Cut by Derrick Barnes, Gordon C. James

“One of the best reads for young black boys in years, it should be in every library, media center, and, yes, barbershop.” —Kirkus Reviews, starred review

The barbershop is where the magic happens. Boys go in as lumps of clay and, with princely robes draped around their shoulders, a dab of cool shaving cream on their foreheads, and a slow, steady cut, they become royalty. That crisp yet subtle line makes boys sharper, more visible, more aware of every great thing that could happen to them when they look good: lesser grades turn into As; girls take notice; even a mother’s hug gets a little tighter. Everyone notices.

A fresh cut makes boys fly.

This rhythmic, read-aloud title is an unbridled celebration of the self-esteem, confidence, and swagger boys feel when they leave the barber’s chair—a tradition that places on their heads a figurative crown, beaming with jewels, that confirms their brilliance and worth and helps them not only love and accept themselves but also take a giant step toward caring how they present themselves to the world. The fresh cuts. That’s where it all begins.

Crown: An Ode to the Fresh Cut is a high-spirited, engaging salute to the beautiful, raw, assured humanity of black boys and how they see themselves when they approve of their reflections in the mirror.

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Product Details
ISBN-13:
9781572842243
9781572842243
Publisher:
Agate
Agate
Publication date:
10/10/2017
Series:
Denene Millner Books Series
Pages:
32
32
Sales rank:
53,694
Product dimensions:
8.60(w) x 11.10(h) x 0.40(d)
Age Range:
3 - 8 Years
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About the Author

About the Author

Derrick Barnes, a graduate of Jackson State University, is the author of eight books, including the popular series Ruby and the Booker Boys. He also wrote best-selling copy for Hallmark as the first African American male staff writer for the company. Barnes resides in Charlotte, North Carolina, with his wife and four sons.

Gordon C. James, a graduate of the School of Visual Arts, is a nationally recognized, award-winning fine artist specializing in figurative drawing. He is the illustrator of the Scraps of Time children’s book series. He has worked for Hallmark as an illustrator and artist and has taught at the University of North Carolina. He lives in Charlotte, North Carolina.

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Editorial Reviews

Editorial Reviews

★ 08/28/2017
How good can a haircut make a person feel? “Magnificent. Flawless. Like royalty.” In a powerfully moving tribute to barbershop culture, Barnes (We Could Be Brothers) addresses readers directly—and it’s safe to say his audience is primarily boys of color—using hyperbole to boost their confidence and help them recognize their own value. “You came in as a lump of clay,” he writes, “a blank canvas, a slab of marble./ But when my man is done with you,/ they’ll want to post you up in a museum.” Created with thick, forceful daubs of paint, James’s luminous portraits reinforce the idea that, when a person looks this good, not even the sky is the limit. Of a man admiring the curving designs newly shaved into his head, the narrator remarks, “Maybe there’s a river named after him on Mars. He looks that important.” Pride, confidence, and joy radiate from the pages, both in the black and brown faces of men, women, boys, and girls featured in James’s majestic paintings, and in writing that celebrates human worth with every syllable. Barbers included: “Tip that man! Tip that man!” Ages 3–8. (Oct.)Correction: An earlier version of this review attributed the paintings in the book to the book's author.

Publishers Weekly
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