Looking for a great children’s book that helps kids learn to be proud of who they are and celebrates diversity? “Nikki Loves Her Hair” is a simple yet fun book about a little girl who loves everything about her natural hair! I just had to share this one since I share a name with the main character! Read on to learn more, then enter for a chance to win a copy!
Nikki is a young girl who loves everything about her natural hair. She loves all of the hairstyles she can do and matching with mommy and friends!
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Interview with Nailah Jones
What is the first book that made you cry?
The first book that made me cry was I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings, by Maya Angelou. Reading this book was an emotional experience for me because her vivid description of her life story was both triumphant, while also slightly melancholy, as she went through many traumatic experiences as a child.
Does writing energize or exhaust you?
I think writing provides a mix of both. At times it makes you feel excited and your mind is racing with ideas so fast your hands can’t move fast enough to write them down. At other times, you feel completely stuck and can’t figure out what you want to do.
What are common traps for aspiring writers?
I think one common trap for aspiring writers is possibly the desire to be perfect. Sometimes, people sabotage their hard work by critiquing it too much, or being too analytical about it. I think you should let your thoughts flow freely and then go back and look at the bigger picture of what you have created. I also think comparing your work to other’s can be detrimental. It can be easy to get caught up in what other people are doing, when you should really focus on yourself.
Do you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want?
I think so far, I do a mix of both. For example, with my children’s book Nikki Loves Her Hair, I knew it was something that my community needed, but I also put my own twist on it by providing/creating things in the book that might not be seen elsewhere.
Do you think someone could be a writer if they don’t feel emotions strongly?
I think that even if you don’t feel emotions strongly, you can observe people around you and use your imagination to fill in the gaps.
Do you want each book to stand on its own, or are you trying to build a body of work with connections between each book?
I think with what I am doing now, I would love to build a body of work that connects with children in different age groups. I originally considered just making this stand-alone book for you children ages 0-5, but then realized that the content I am speaking on (self-love and acceptance) should be highlighted at all age groups in different ways.
What was the best money you ever spent as a writer?
I can’t say I have one experience to pull from, but I think that it is extremely important to invest in yourself and your goals/dreams. I self-published my book, which was extremely scary, but it all ended up being worth it in the end.
What was an early experience where you learned that language had power?
When I read speeches written by Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X.
What’s your favorite under-appreciated novel?
No Name in the Street by James Baldwin
As a writer, what would you choose as your mascot/avatar/spirit animal?
I would say that my spirit animal as a writer is a butterfly. Seeing as to how I am still very young, I think that this is only the beginning and I will continue to transform and create even better things in the future.
Nailah Jones is a natural haired girl from Snellville, Georgia. After years of getting relaxers, she realized her natural hair better fit her identity and later decided to go back to her natural roots. She has now had locs for two
years and counting. Nailah thinks that it is important to let other natural girls in her community know how beautiful their natural hair is, so they never have to wonder!
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