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Children's Fiction Caribbean & Latin America

Boonoonoonous Hair

by (author) Olive Senior

illustrated by Laura James

Tradewind Books
Initial publish date
May 2019
Caribbean & Latin America, Girls & Women, General
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    May 2019
    List Price
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Jan 2022
    List Price

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Where to buy it

Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels

  • Age: 6 to 8
  • Grade: 1 to 3
  • Reading age: 6 to 8


In this beautifully illustrated picture book written by Commonwealth Prize-winning author Olive Senior and illustrated by the much-acclaimed artist of Anna Carries Water a little girl learns to love her difficult-to-manage curly hair.

About the authors

Olive Senior was born in Jamaica in 1941. She lives both there and in Canada. Her first collection of short stories, Summer Lightning (1986), won the Commonwealth Literature Prize. She has published two subsequent collections of short stories, The Arrival of the Snake Woman (1989) and The Discerner of Hearts (1995). She has two collections of poems, Talking of Trees (1985) and Gardening in the Tropics (1995). She has written on different aspects of Caribbean culture and was editor of Jamaica Journal.

Olive Senior's profile page

Laura James is an award-winning artist and illustrator of Antiguan heritage. She collaborated with Olive Senior on the bestselling Anna Carries Water, which was a Kirkus Reviews Best Book of 2014. She lives in the Bronx, New York.


Laura James' profile page

Editorial Reviews

"Jamaican-Canadian writer Senior uses playful rhymes to speak directly to young readers who may struggle with standing out from other kids their age. And she includes poignant moments as when Jamilla spots a self-portrait of Frida Kahlo, who also has plaits in her hair.
The artwork by James — who is of Antiguan heritage — is an explosion of colour and energy, with each one of her illustrations perfectly echoing the vibrancy of Jamilla's ever-changing electric and kinetic hairstyles. James brilliantly reinforces her theme by making Jamilla's class multicultural and including a spread of paintings by famous artists — all of whom have widely individual styles.
Together, author and illustrator show young readers that being different isn't a bad thing. Not only does Jamilla learn to appreciate her hair, the girls in her class think it's boonoonoonous, too."
Quill & Quire

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