Crown: An Ode to the Fresh Cut



“And we you see the cut yourself, in that handheld mirror, you’ll smile a really big smile. That’s the you that you love the most. That’s the you that wins – everything. That’s the gold medal you.”

CROWN: AN ODE TO THE FRESH CUT written by Derrick Barnes and illustrated by Gordon C. James is a fast paced, lively picture book that really is something special.

Before reading Crown, you think you’re about to read a book about getting a haircut but it’s actually about the self-esteem and confidence a haircut can give you, especially a Black boy. Sitting in the barber’s chair is a transformative experience. Boys go in, and with their fresh cut, they are moulded into the best version of themselves.

When they leave the barber’s chair, our boys walk with their heads held high. Their worth confirmed and validated.

Crown was first published in the US in 2017 and since then it has amassed many prestigious awards such as the Newberry Honor, Caldecott Honor, Coretta Scott King Author and Illustrator honors and more.


Children’s Review

Crown: An Ode To The Fresh Cut by Derrick Barnes was a well-paced book about the magical environment of a barber shop. This book was relaxing and showed people having fun and being treated like royalty in the one place where we all go. The illustrations by Gordon C. James were like nothing we have ever seen before and we found it amazingly creative to draw in a style that was realistic with an artistic twist. Altogether, a great book with illustrations that complement it grandly.

by Joseph (12) and Lily (10).



A young boy’s trip to the barber shop is a joyful celebration of confidence and self-esteem.
The barber shop is where magic happens! Boys go in as lumps of clay and, with princely robes draped around their shoulders, a dab of cool shaving cream on their foreheads and a slow, steady cut, they become royalty, aware of every great thing that could happen to them when they look good. Their grades improve, they get noticed, they feel good about themselves. This rhythmic, read-aloud title is an unbridled celebration of the self-esteem, confidence and swagger boys feel when they leave the barber’s chair. It’s a tradition that places a figurative crown on their heads that perfectly confirms their brilliance and worth.

Crown: An Ode to the Fresh Cut is available now.