The Next Chapter

Why Danielle Murrell Cox dedicated a picture book about Black hair to her younger self

The Canadian writer and illustrator is the author of children's book My Hair.
Danielle Murrell Cox is a Canadian author and graphic designer. (Submitted by Danielle Murrell Cox)

Danielle Murrell Cox is a Canadian illustrator and graphic designer. She is perhaps best known for her self-published colouring books Black Queens and Black Kings.

Her debut picture book, My Hair, is a celebration of Black hair and natural hairstyles for younger readers. Cox will be a featured author for the second annual FOLD Kids Book Fest, which takes place Oct. 3-4, 2020. 

She also was the artist who designed the CBC Arts logo for July 2020.

She spoke with The Next Chapter about why it was important to create the children's board book My Hair.

A celebration of hair

"My board book is for little girls and little boys. It's showing them different hairstyles that are based off of natural Black hair styles. It's done in a very minimalistic, colourful way.

"It's very eye catching as well. There are a lot of hairstyles and at the end of the book, there's definitely a little 'glossary of style,' showing the different hairstyles.

My board book is for little girls and little boys. It's showing them different hairstyles that are based off of natural Black hair styles.

"There's the Afro puffs, Afros, braids, locks — pretty much anything that you can kind of think of in regards to Black hairstyles is in the book." 

An interior page from My Hair by Danielle Murrell Cox. (©2020 HarperFestival)
 

The biggest inspiration

"My biggest inspiration for writing this book is just based off of my own life. I am Black. Growing up as a kid, you don't really think of it when you're young — but as you get older, you realize you don't have those types of influences or visuals growing up.

"So much as you learn things from your family and your friends, it's great to be able to reinforce that with visuals, whether it's in books and in school or on TV. 

Creating this book was definitely based off of a selfish reason — to be able to do something that would make the younger me happy.

"Creating this book was definitely based off of a selfish reason — to be able to do something that would make the younger me happy."

Danielle Murrell Cox's comments have been edited for length and clarity.

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