The barbershop is where the magic happens. Boys go in as lumps of clay and, with princely robes draped around their shoulders, a dab of cool shaving cream on their foreheads, and a slow, steady cut, they become royalty. That crisp yet subtle line makes boys sharper, more visible, more aware of every great thing that could happen to them when they look good: lesser grades turn into As; girls take notice; even a mother's hug gets a little tighter. Everyone notices. A fresh cut makes boys fly. This rhythmic, read-aloud title is an unbridled celebration of the self-esteem, confidence, and swagger boys feel when they leave the barber's chair-a tradition that places on their heads a figurative crown, beaming with jewels, that confirms their brilliance and worth and helps them not only love and accept themselves but also take a giant step toward caring how they present themselves to the world. The fresh cuts. That's where it all begins. Crown: An Ode to the Fresh Cut is a high-spirited, engaging salute to the beautiful, raw, assured humanity of black boys and how they see themselves when they approve of their reflections in the mirror
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by Sally Warner
"In a voice that fairly swaggers, narrator Corey Allen captures the rhythm of CROWN, an exuberant tale about the transformative power of a fresh haircut. Allen celebrates along with the hero of this story, an African-American boy who revels in the joy and confidence occasioned by a trip to the barbershop. Allen's expert narration dovetails perfectly with the beat of Barnes's words and the potency of Gordon James's bold oil-based illustrations of the print edition. Precisely timed pauses, drawn-out words--"Girllll . . . he's so fine!"--and other exclamations add a vibrant audio dimension. At the story's close, listeners will nod their heads in understanding, rejoicing in the much-deserved pride this young man feels as he emerges into the world with a crisp new cut. S.A.H. Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award © AudioFile 2018, Portland, Maine"
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