Every morning, Wanda gets on to her school bus with a head full of bouncy ‘cloudy’ curls. Although some of her classmates laugh at her hair, she holds her head up high and remembers mama’s words: ‘Be confident. Trust in yourself.’
But as she gets closer to school, she feels less confident. She knows her teacher will disapprove of her ‘bird nest’ hair so each morning before class, she begins the ‘big switch’ and changes her hairstyle to something more acceptable.
The pressures of constantly changing her hair to fit in get too much for Wanda, and she lets it all pour out to Makhulu – her grandmother. Makhulu reminds Wanda that she is a queen and her hair is perfect just the way it is. Together, they look at a scrapbook of famous black women wearing beautiful hairstyles, some Wanda has never seen before.
Feeling inspired, Wanda asks Makhulu for hairstyle fit for a queen. With her hair braided and coiled to perfection, Wanda finally sees how beautiful her hair has been all along.
This is a powerful story about self-love. Celebrating how cultural pride is learned and passed on through generations, this book encourages young children to love themselves for what they are born with, despite what society may say or think. Set in South Africa, the backmatter includes a glossary of Xhosa words used in the story.