Reviewed by Nikitha Menon
A brown girl’s journey with her hair is always an emotional and personal one. For me, it started in the sixth-grade gym. More specifically when Scott pointed out that I had “man arms.” In retrospect, he was probably just jealous he couldn’t grow his own hair, right? Other girls wore their short shorts and tank tops proudly stamped with a Hollister bird or an Abercrombie moose and then there was me: decked out in layers of Walmart trying to hide every hair on my body.
That’s why I was so excited when I heard about Shelly Anand’s newest children’s book, Laxmi’s Mooch, a body-positive picture book that follows a young Indian American girl’s journey to accept her body hair and celebrate her heritage after being teased about her mustache. I had the opportunity to talk to Anand about this beautiful book and the need now, more than ever, for its existence. Continue reading.
Laxmi's Mooch by Shelly Anand
Published by Penguin on March 2, 2021
Genres: South Asian
Reading Level: Grade K, Grades 1-2
Publisher's Synopsis: A joyful, body-positive picture book about a young Indian American girl's journey to accept her body hair and celebrate her heritage after being teased about her mustache.
Laxmi never paid much attention to the tiny hairs above her lip. But one day while playing farm animals at recess, her friends point out that her whiskers would make her the perfect cat. She starts to notice body hair all over — on her arms, legs, and even between her eyebrows.
With her parents' help, Laxmi learns that hair isn't just for heads, but that it grows everywhere, regardless of gender. Featuring affirming text by Shelly Anand and exuberant, endearing illustrations by Nabi H. Ali, Laxmi's Mooch is a celebration of our bodies and our body hair, in whichever way they grow.