Stella's Stellar Hair by Afro-Latina author and illustrator Yesenia Moises is a picture book about a young girl who is getting ready for the Big Star Little Gala but her hair is not acting right! Her mom tries to help her but Stella wants something special for the big day, so her mom tells her to go visit her Aunt on Mercury. So she jumps on her hoverboard and begins her journey to Mercury. When she gets there she is greeted by her Aunt Ofelia and begins to explain that her hair's not acting right. Aunt Ofelia tries to help her out with a Poofy-Smooth Style, but Stella didn't know if it was right for her. So off she goes again visiting the rest of her Aunts around the solar system trying to find a style that is just right for the Big Star Little Gala. It's not until she reaches her Auntie Solana who resides on the sun that she comes to terms with its not that her hair's not acting right, but rather that her hair just wants to be a little more fun than usual. She takes what her Auntie Solana says and goes back home to do her hair herself. She encompasses the unique styles from all of the planets and creates one that is just right for the Big Star Little Gala.
Let me just say that I LOVE this book. It sheds light on a struggle that Black and Afro-Latina/o/x women face on a daily basis, Hair! As a Black woman for as long as I can remember, my mother always took the time to make sure my hair was as neat and uniform as it could be before I went out in public. I began getting my hair relaxed at a young age so that it would be straight and manageable. It wasn't until I was 24 that I decided I didn't want to relax my hair anymore and that I wanted to let it grow out in its natural kinky/coil state. During my journey to letting my hair grow out naturally, I often would refer to my hair as not acting right. I was so used to it being tamed and "neat". It took almost 2 years of my hair being natural for me to fully understand that my hair was going to do whatever it felt like doing regardless of how I styled it. Now here I am a mom to three children, two of which are girls and I make sure to let them embrace their natural hair. They rock their curly, kinky afros or afro puffs on a regular basis. I myself rock my two strand coily twists.
For me personally my hair is my crown. I realized that once I learned to embrace it fully as an adult, I held the power of how others see me. I choose how I want my hair to look when out and about in public. I choose to let it just be a little more fun somedays than others. But it is me who gets to choose when and not society.
Stella's Stellar Hair is the book to use if you are trying to teach your children about loving their self and ALL of their gloriousness. It also gives the opportunity to give a brief science lesson which makes me love it even more. As Stella travels through the stars and arrives at each planet she gets to try styles unique to each planet based on its scientific composition. Author and Illustrator Yesenia Moises also included a breakdown of each planets composition and why those specific styles would be great for humans if we lived on those planets.