Black girl magic takes the solar system in Stella’s Stellar Hair, a celebration of hair, family, and self-love from debut author-illustrator Yesenia Moises!
It’s the day of the Big Star Little Gala, and Stella’s hair just isn’t acting right! What’s a girl to do?
Simple! Just hop on her hoverboard, visit each of her fabulous aunties across the solar system, and find the perfect hairdo along the way.
Stella’s Stellar Hair celebrates the joy of self-empowerment, shows off our solar system, and beautifully illustrates a variety of hairstyles from the African diaspora. Backmatter provides more information about each style and each planet.
About the Author:
Yesenia Moises is an Afro-Latina illustrator and designer with a specialty in product design. Her work proudly portrays people of diverse backgrounds playing leading roles in fantasy adventures that are brimming with color. Yesenia is the author-illustrator of Stella’s Stellar Hair and the illustrator of Honeysmoke: A Story of Finding Your Color.
What was it like to write your first picture book, and what was the inspiration behind it?
This fantastical re-envisioning of the solar system came about after my own experiences with learning to love my natural hair. As an Afro-Latina, I’d spent much of my life exposed to messages in the media that essentially said straight or loosely wavy hair was the only kind of hair that was beautiful. It was in the cartoons I watched, the telenovelas I’d consumed with my family growing up, and as I got older I realized that there was something very wrong with that. I wanted to create a story that countered the messaging I’d been conditioned to believe from a young age, that black hair isn’t as desirable as looser textures. I wanted to change that narrative and show young black girls that their hair is beautiful with an interstellar twist!
There is so much detail included in the vibrant illustrations throughout the book. Do you have a favorite interior or a favorite planet and auntie that Stella visits?
If I had to pick one it’d have to be when Stella visits Venus. When I was coming up with the different settings and the properties that the inhabitants of each planet would have, there was something incredibly inspiring about a planet filled with people who proudly rock their fros that are so massive, they form entire forests. I will say though, it’s probably quite the experience during wash day.
What do you hope children will learn about hair and identity from your book?
I hope that children will grow up viewing their afro-textured hair in a positive light. Black hair is amazing and there’s so much you can do with it. Whether it’s kinky, coily, curly, up in some buns, or wild and free, your hair is such a special part of what your parents passed down to you. A gravity-defying canvas for you to express yourself and fashion as you see fit that’s absolutely stellar!