A little girl with a wonderful head of curly hair sits on the branch of a tree, and tells us, in rhyme, about her family tree. She has her Mum’s eyes, ‘so caring and true: looking out for each other is the best thing to do’. She introduces us to a lovely Caribbean family, all with characteristics that she has inherited. She has her grandad’s glowing skin, and is ‘proud to share his melanin’. (Some explanation will be useful for the young reader!). Her aunt has long dazzling plaits, and she plaits the girl’s hair in cornrows. Dad has straighter hair, and Grandma wears a sari – this is a mixed-race family. Having picked out noses, ears etc, we have the 2 families each on a double-page spread: ‘Mum’s family makes half of me, and half comes from Dad’s family, and everyone is proud to see a part of them in ALL of me!’
This is a positive look at loving families and how this delightful and happy child fits in. Michaela Dias-Hayes has illustrated 2 books by Monika Singh Gangotra, about two friends of different backgrounds: The Gifts that Grow about looking after the planet, and The Sunflower Sisters, about loving the skin you’re in, with both reflecting her own part-Jamaican heritage and her marriage into an Indian family, but this is her first as author/illustrator, and it is certainly encouraging.