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An Ode to the Fresh Cut

Book - 2017
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Celebrates the magnificent feeling that comes from walking out of a barber shop with newly-cut hair.
The barbershop is where the magic happens. Boys go in as lumps of clay and, with princely robes draped around their shoulders, a dab of cool shaving cream on their foreheads, and a slow, steady cut, they become royalty. That crisp yet subtle line makes boys sharper, more visible, more aware of every great thing that could happen to them when they look good: lesser grades turn into As; girls take notice; even a mother's hug gets a little tighter. Everyone notices. A fresh cut makes boys fly. This rhythmic, read-aloud title is an unbridled celebration of the self-esteem, confidence, and swagger boys feel when they leave the barber's chair--a tradition that places on their heads a figurative crown, beaming with jewels, that confirms their brilliance and worth and helps them not only love and accept themselves but also take a giant step toward caring how they present themselves to the world. The fresh cuts. That's where it all begins. Crown: An Ode to the Fresh Cut is a high-spirited, engaging salute to the beautiful, raw, assured humanity of black boys and how they see themselves when they approve of their reflections in the mirror. -- Provided by publisher.
Publisher: Chicago : Bolden, An Agate imprint, [2017]
Copyright Date: ©2017
ISBN: 9781572842243
Call Number: jE BARNES 2017
Characteristics: 1 volume : color illustrations ; 29 cm
Additional Contributors: James, Gordon C. - Illustrator
Alternative Title: Ode to the fresh cut


From Library Staff

The barbershop is where the magic happens.

A good haircut makes you feel magnificent, and the support of the community you live in makes you feel like royalty.

Newbery honor, Caldecott honor, Coretta Scott King Author Award honor, Coretta Scott King Illustrator honor

A good haircut makes you feel magnificent, and the support of the community you live in makes you feel like royalty.

From the critics

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Amanda_HT Jan 22, 2021

This multi-award winning book for young people is as much about cultural pride and and self-esteem as it is about getting a hair cut. It is powerful and beautifully written. It would be a great picture book to read to kids ages 3 to 9 years old for Black History Month.

Oct 22, 2020

Wonderful text and outstanding illustrations bring this book to life! As the author states this book focuses on the humanity, the beautiful, raw, smart, perceptive, assured humanity of black boys/sons/brothers/nephews/grandsons, and how they see themselves when they highly approve of their reflections in the mirror.

rumrunner1971 Oct 14, 2020

WOW! Wonderful picture book for young boys of and great for young children age 7 through 9 years. Derrick Barnes, author - wrote a picture books( reminding me about my first experience having my cut hair at 2 years old. Also, the illustration by Gordon C. James was over the top good. The Lexile levels are 700L through 775L.

JCLBeckyC Sep 26, 2020

Mmm, this is a delicious book. The author, Derrick Barnes, is a Kansas City native and used to work for Hallmark Cards.

Jun 26, 2019

I guess I've never had a haircut that good.

EvaELPL Apr 28, 2018

This lyrical, stylish love song to black boys and their hair is perfect from start to finish.

LoganLib_Kate Apr 06, 2018

A gorgeously illustrated book full of swagger. Must be read aloud!

Feb 15, 2018

I loved this. Who doesn't feel just a little more confident - a little more special - after a really great haircut?
Gorgeous illustrations and words that that just need to be read aloud. Every page is positive and uplifting, full of wonderful affirmations for young boys. Though this is a picture book, it would appeal to older ages as well. The author's note at the back adds additional context and personal meaning.

Feb 06, 2018

Crown is a first-rate tale of the importance of self grooming and self esteem. Although aimed at big city young boys at the 8-12 year range, it resonates with all ages, genders and races. It is a inside look at the community behind the barber shop and with coming of age in that community.
"I wanted to capture that moment when... boys all over america visit "the shop" and hop out of the chair filled with a higher self-esteem, with self-price , with confidence and an overall elevated view of who they are" - authors note- Derrick Banes

This book does a good job of that. Please don't overlook this as a "preschool picture" book only it will resonate with children up to 8 or 9 years old who are reading for themselves.

PimaLib_TeneciaP Dec 20, 2017

I know the author was focused primarily on boys of color with this book but I could relate to what was being said! There is something about a barbershop that feels like home. Maybe it's the smell. Or the buzz of the clippers. Or the music playing. Or the tv blasting. Or the conversations taking place. Or the memories it evokes of going with my brother on Saturday mornings to Al's Barbershop. Whatever it is, there's no place like the barbershop!

And there's nothing like the feeling after getting a fresh cut! You stand taller. You feel more confident. You walk with more swagger. You leave the shop feeling, like the author said, "Magnificent. Flawless. Like royalty."


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Feb 06, 2018

AndLib1 thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 4 and 12


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