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‘We need the literature of other countries to expand our
horizons and stimulate our ideas. Without it, we are not only
diminished, we are starved’
(The Times, Magnus Linklater 29/06/05)
Mira's Curly Hair
by Maryam al Serkal
Age Range: Under_5
Mira really doesn’t like her unruly curly hair and she would give anything to have lovely smooth, straight hair like her Mama. Mira tries everything: from pulling her hair, straightening it between a pile of books and even standing on her head, but nothing works. However, something unpredictable happens while out walking with her Mama in the rain. Now Mira will never look at her Mama’s hair in the same way again.
Emirati author Maryam al Serkal’s inspiration for the story came from her own daughter Mira. Set in Dubai, where the author lives, the vibrant acrylic artwork by Argentinian illustrator Rebeca Luciani really captures the essence of both the story and main characters. Using vivid, bright colours the double-page-spreads range from a mass of black hair combined with colourful hair accessories held by toy soldiers to the close-up facial images full of expression. The city of Dubai provides a beautiful backdrop with its Palm trees, architecture and traditional dress. Serkal presents a simple, gentle concept conveying a message that difference should be celebrated.