Review: Imani and the Great Hair Experiment by Cicely Lewis


Imani and the Hair Experiment
Title: Imani and the Great Hair Experiment
Series: Hair Magic (Read Woke ™ Chapter Books)
Author:  Cicely Lewis
Illustrator: Anastasia Magloire Williams
Publisher: Lerner Publications ™
Genre: Children's Fiction | Christian | OwnVoices
Reading Level: 2 - 3
Age Category: 6-9 years
Release Date: January 1, 2024
ISBN 13: 979-8765624210
Pages: 40
Rating: 5 of 5 stars

Shimmer, sparkle, twirl . . . I am a creative girl!

It's Science Fair time! Imani wants to win, but needs to find an idea that can beat the crowd-favorite volcano. Can Imani think outside of the box to take home the blue ribbon?

Read Woke™ Books are created in partnership with Cicely Lewis, the Read Woke librarian, to reflect the diversity of our world.


My Thoughts

Think Outside the Box

It is Science fair time at Imani’s school, and Imani is uncertain because all It is science fair time at Imani's school. All her classmates seem to be choosing the same ideas that she has, which leaves her with nothing to do. She is down in the dumps, and her dad notices it when she gets home and encourages her to think outside the box.

A visit to her aunt's store gives her an idea. Imani then goes home and starts using the scientific method to test her project. The day of the science fair arrives. Her biggest rival is confident about his project, but Imani, though nervous, silently awaits the outcome.

The book had me really engrossed. I actually read it three times to ensure I missed nothing!

What I Liked (in no particular order)

  • The artwork is adorable
  • The teacher is a person of color
  • The science used in the story
  • The topic of perseverance is addressed with thinking outside the box
  • The think about it questions at the end of the book
  • The explanation of the CROWN Act signifies that it is okay to be your authentic self
  • The reader comes away with a few great takeaways
    • Do not give up
    • You do not have to do what has already been done
    • Parents, it is necessary to tune in to your children

What Gave Me Pause

  • The word hair magic: the skill and the ingenuity used in creating a style and getting a certain effect is embodied by actual magic. A child might believe it is that simple to change a hairstyle.

My Recommendation

Parents will enjoy reading this book with their children, independent readers will enjoy reading about themselves or someone like themselves. I did not have that as a child, so it makes my heart happy that the next generation can identify characters like themselves within the pages of the books they read. Great job, Cicely!

I received a free copy of Imani and the Great Hair Experiment Via Multicultural Children Book Day and Lerner Publishing, and I am leaving this review voluntarily. I am thankful for the opportunity to be a part of #ReadYourWorld.

Cicely Lewis is a school librarian with a passion for creating lovers of reading based in Georgia. In 2017, she started the Read Woke challenge in response to the shootings of young unarmed black people, the repeal of DACA, and the lack of diversity in young adult literature. She was named the 2020 National Librarian of the Year by School Library Journal and Scholastic, a 2019 Library Journal Mover and Shaker and the 2019 National Teacher Award for Lifelong Readers by the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) and Penguin Random House (PRH).

Author links:

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  1. Anonymous2:52 PM

    Thank you so much for sharing this lovely article with us. We appreciate your support and participation for Multicultural Children’s Book Day very much!

    1. Thanks for stopping by. It was my first year participating and it was truly a pleasure!


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