Hair for Mama

by Kelly Tinkham and Amy June Bates

Mama has lost all her hair because of chemotherapy treatments for cancer. Eight-year-old... read more

Mama has lost all her hair because of chemotherapy treatments for cancer. Eight-year-old Marcus is determined to find her more, thinking if Mama can have hair, she’ll want to be in the annual family picture. “I kept my thinking cap buckled, working on finding hair.” When a silly wig won’t do, Marcus gets the idea to give her is own hair, only to discover—too late—that his plan won’t work. Author Kelly A. Tinkham’s own experience as a mother with cancer inspired her debut picture book, which is masterful in its honest, sensitive approach to a difficult topic. Tinkham’s finely detailed narrative acknowledges the uncertainty of Mama’s illness as well as the side effects of her treatment, but also incorporates moments of humor, and always stays focused on Marcus’s effort to help. Details specific to the loving family’s African American culture, from hairstyles to headwraps, are seamlessly woven into a story featuring warm illustrations by Amy June Bates, and ending with news that Mama’s treatments are almost over. “At least for now, no more cancer.” (Ages 5–8)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2008

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