Hair Love Literature Guide

Grade Level: 
PreK, K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
by Matthew A. Cherry - A guide for parents, teachers, and group leaders to accompany the reading of this picture book. The guide below provides before, during, and after-reading discussion questions. Choose from activities and discussion questions to celebrate loving your natural hair, as well as the relationship between Daddies and daughters.

“Zuri’s hair lets her be her! It coils and kinks to perfectly match a princess tiara or a superhero cape. But an extra special day calls for an extra special style!  Comb in hand, Daddy steps in to help Zuri find the perfect fit.” Hair styling allows you to be creative and share who you are through different kinds of designs. Do you remember the first time you started styling your own hair? Do you remember experimenting with different styles until you found just the right one? Our hair can have a personality of its own. Our hair has a way of sending a non-verbal message about our moods. Read this loving book together and talk about how loving ourselves and others for just who we are is the start of a better world.

Literature Guide by Joyce Matthews and Lisa Sandor

Before Reading 

Ask: Have you ever wondered about why everyone's hair is so different? Talk about color, length, thickness, curly, straight and textures that make up different heads of hair.  How do you take care of your hair? Do you have favorite hair styles? What type of brush and comb do you use on your hair? What have you noticed about the way other people's hair looks? What is the first thing that comes to your mind when you see someone’s hair?

Show: Looking at the cover and first two pages of the book, talk about how Zuri's hair is different than and like her family members' hair and yours. Even the cat's! What questions come to mind? Why do you think the man is looking up at Zuri like he is? How might you describe the relationship of the two people on the front cover? 

Connect: Hair care is important for everyone. We use many different items to make our hair look special. What kinds of things do you do to make sure your hair is healthy and looks good? What are kind things you can say to family members and friends about their hair?

During Reading 

Ask: As you read the story, what are you learning about Zuri?  How is Zuri showing she is independent?  How did Zuri and her dad work together to get the hairstyle Zuri really wanted? How do you know Zuri was happy with the final hairstyle? 

Show: What examples in the story show you that Zuri and her Dad had different ideas about hairstyling? 

Connect: Why do you think Zuri and her Dad continue to try different hairstyles until they were both satisfied with the final choice? How do they show generous listening? What kind of feelings or emotions did Zuri and her dad have while trying to figure out a hair style? Have you ever felt like this before?

After Reading 

Ask: How did Zuri use the tablet to help her with getting the right hairstyle?  What does Zuri’s father mean by “We learned from the best”? 

Show: Looking through the book, what pages show Zuri and her dad working together to successfully complete a task? What things do you do with a loving adult that require kind attention? 

Connect: Why did Zuri “really need her hair to be special” that day? Talk about special times in your life and the people you like to be your best for. What are different ways you can be your best for someone? 


  1. How does our hair “being done” make us feel?  Do you think doing hair is hard?  Is hair a big or small part of a person's self-esteem? What are ways you can respect someone's hair? Seeing how much work Zuri and her dad put into her hair, do you think hair is a big deal for some people? Have you ever been to a hair salon or barbershop? Have you ever thought about being a barber or hair stylist? Do you think only women can do another woman's hair? Do you think only men can cut a man's hair? Do you think certain hairstyles are connected to being a man or a woman?
  2. Choose a hairstyle. Give someone step-by-step directions (written or oral) to style their own hair in the style you choose. What details must you include?
  3. Choose two family members to style your hair. Take photos. Write down your thoughts about the style.
  4. Draw a self portrait and use textured supplies to make your hair. Use cotton balls, magazine pictures, felt, or yarn.
  5. Make a poster of different hairstyles found in magazines. Cut out and glue the pictures and add color and design to make the poster attractive. Give it a good name.
  6. Visit a place where they cut hair and interview someone about how they learned to cut hair and how they manage the salon with all the different people coming and going every day.