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All the honors

Cover of Crown: An Ode to the Fresh
A review of Crown: An Ode to the Fresh Cut by Derrick Barnes

Earning multiple awards including a Newbery Honor, a Caldecott Honor (for illustration), and Coretta Scott King Honors for writing and for illustration, Crown celebrates one black boy’s experience in the barber’s chair, and how that fresh cut can elevate both self-esteem and self-confidence. James’ realistic illustrations are dazzling, with bold painterly strokes of color, that capture subtle nuances of feeling, character and setting. And Barnes’ words resonate with references to barbers as artists that are wonderfully fitting, “You came in as a lump of clay, a blank canvas, a slab of marble. But when my man is done with you, they’ll want to post you up in a museum!”  This powerful book is well worth sharing, especially with boys just beginning to consider how they present themselves to the world.