I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange of an honest review. All thoughts are my own.
I just read a picture book with my daughters that every little girl should have in her library. With an illustration of a beautiful ballerina in a pink leotard, tutu and slippers, on the cover, I’m not sure if many little girls would skip over this book if seen on a shelf. I Just Kept Spinning, by Destini Berry and illustrated by April Foxx, is a story of courage and strength and I’m excited to share it.
I Just Kept Spinning Book Review
This story can serve as a read-aloud or an easy read for kids ages 4 to 8. Destini, both the author and main character in I Just Kept Spinning, faced a challenging time as a young ballerina when her appearance didn’t quite resemble that of a stereotypical ballerina. An instructor saw her hair as a distraction and hinderance to her ability to perform, which left Destini and her mother with a decision to make. Should they change Destini’s hair to resemble that of the other ballerina’s or should her hair remain in its unique style?
This storyline is a real life issue that people of color, specifically black females, experience way too often. Differential treatment, annoying and unwanted questions and hair touching are typical for girls and women who care to wear their hair in its natural state or styles that don’t look like that of our straight hair, typically caucasian, sisters. For as long as I can remember, I have had people ask questions like, How long did that take? Does that hurt? Is that your hair? Will it grow?. Although I am teaching my three daughters to love their hair, I know I’ll have to continue hearing these questions.
Thankfully, I have typically been able to respond to these questions with a (fake) smile, but some of my fellow sisters, like Destini Berry, have have had to take greater measures for people to realize their questions or requests can be offensive. The book goes on to share how they took their issue with the ballerina instructor to the masses, so others could see the ignorance they faced. Through perseverance, Destini was able to keep her beloved hair style and continue her journey as a ballerina.
Stay True to You
I highly recommend this book because it teaches a remarkable life lesson for young girls. Even if the reader isn’t a POC, they will still be able to connect with the main character’s bravery. Books like this one will help us as parents, grandparents, teachers (and so on) to groom young girls into strong and confident women. We need all the help we can get to teach them about conformity, and how awful it is to see yourself only as other see you. They’ll learn how to stay true to themselves by showing them how to ignore those who think their beauty is determined by how they wear their hair and clothes. It’s our duty to show our girls how to be confident, especially in their ability to achieve their dreams.
Learn more about Destini Berry and I Just Kept Spinning on the book’s official site. If you have to have this book, use discount code DYS15 to receive 15% off your entire order through September 15, 2017.2