Can I Touch Your Hair?

By Irene Latham, Charles Waters
Illustrated by Selina Alko, Sean Qualls

Beautiful poems that offer an accessible way for kids to think about and talk about race in America.

How can Irene and Charles work together on their fifth grade poetry project? They don't know each other . . . and they're not sure they want to. Irene Latham, who is white, and Charles Waters, who is black, use this fictional setup to delve into different experiences of race in a relatable way, exploring such topics as hair, hobbies, and family dinners. Accompanied by artwork from acclaimed illustrators Sean Qualls and Selina Alko (of The Case for Loving: The Fight for Interracial Marriage), this remarkable collaboration invites readers of all ages to join the dialogue by putting their own words to their experiences.

  • A diverse book at a much-needed time
  • Illustrators Selina Alko and Sean Qualls are a married interracial couple and have become known for their collaborations on books like The Case for Loving and Two Friends.
  • Addresses a range of topics including hair, church, family, police violence, crime, and music

About the author

Irene Latham's passion for poetry started as soon as she could read and write, with Shel Silverstein and love poems crafted for her mother. Named Alabama State Poetry Society 2006 Poet of the Year, Irene has published poems for adults and children in anthologies, journals, and literary magazines. She is also the author of two award-winning novels for children: Leaving Gee's Bend and Don't Feed the Boy. Her collections of children's poetry include Dear Wandering Wildebeest, When the Sun Shines on Antarctica and Fresh Delicious. She lives with her husband and three sons in Birmingham, Alabama. Charles Waters grew up in the Philadelphia suburbs, and currently works as a poet and actor. His poems for children have appeared in anthologies including One Minute Till Bedtime, and The National Geographic Book of Animal Poetry. Charles conducts poetry performance workshops for elementary and middle school audiences across the nation, and he has performed in more than thirty states. He makes his home in New York City. Sean Qualls is an award-winning children's book illustrator, artist, and author. He lives in Brooklyn with his wife, Selina Alko, and their children. Sean has illustrated more than 10 picture books, including Emmanuel's Dream and The Case for Loving. Selina Alko is an award-winning children's book author and illustrator who lives in Brooklyn with her husband, Sean Qualls, and their children. Selina wrote The Case for Loving, which she co-illustrated with Sean.

About the illustrator

Sean Qualls is an award winning, Brooklyn-based children's book illustrator, artist, and author. He has illustrated a number of celebrated books for children, including, Giant Steps to Change the World by Spike Lee and Tonya Lewis-Lee, Little Cloud and Lady Wind by Toni and Slade Morrison, and Before Jon was a Jazz Giant, for which he received a Coretta Scott King Illustration Honour. His work has received two Blue Ribbon citations from the Bulletin of the Centre for Children's Books, where he was also cited for his "serious craftsmanship" and "original stlye". He lives in Brooklyn (where you can find him DJing on occasion) with his wife, illustrator/author Selina Alko and their two children, Ginger and Isaiah. Selina Alko was born in Vancouver, British Colombia. Growing up in a house with a Turkish father who spoke seven languages exposed Selina to many different sounds from a young age. Her father also taught her how to paint and gave her a starter course in self-expression. Her mother's involvement in the family's century-old metal recycling business yielded Alko's affinity for collage and mixing media ("trash art") in her work today. Selina's picture books include the highly acclaimed B is for Brooklyn. Recently, Selina has embarked on a new chapter in her career: collaborated with her husband, the award-winning illustrator Sean Qualls, Selina wrote The Case for Loving: The Fight for Interracial Marriage which she co-illustrated with Sean. Their second illustrated book, Two Friends: Susan B. Anthony and Fredrick Douglass (by Dean Robbins) came out in January 2016.

ISBN: 9781512404425
Imprint: Carolrhoda Books – Lerner Publishing Group
Distributor: Walker Australia-HEDS
Binding: Hardback
Release Date: April 1, 2018
Dimensions: 178 x 254mm, 40pp
Stock Status: Confirmed
Australian RRP: $29.99
New Zealand RRP: $32.99
Stock Level: In Stock

Last updated on 27/10/19 at 22:10:01
Copyright © 2007 Walker Books Australia. All rights reserved.