The Book Shelf | Chocolate Hair Vanilla Care: A Parent’s Guide to Beginning Natural Hair Styling

I have been an avid follower of the blog Chocolate Hair Vanilla Care for a while now, even more so since I had Miss E. You see, the blog charts the journey of Rory Mullen as she learned to care for her adopted daughter, Boo’s hair.  What’s so special about the blog is that Rory is white and Boo is black, hence chocolate hair, vanilla care. I have always been impressed by Rory’s dedication to learning about the unique needs of her daughter’s hair and she is now such a pro, she could open up a braiding bar and make serious change!

I haven’t been on the blog in a bit, as I’ve been so busy with Miss E so you can imagine my surprise and excitement when I popped over and saw that Rory had released a book.

Chocolate Hair Vanilla Care: A Parent’s Guide to Beginning Natural Hair Styling covers basic hairstyles and techniques, from learning to part naturally curly hair to styling cornrows and twists. If you are a transracial adoptive parent, a parent of a biracial child, or caregiver to a young one with kinky-curly hair, this book is everything you need to stat a hairstyling routine with your child. This comprehensive guide is organized so that you can read sections on an as-needed basis, addressing techniques and maintenance that are specific to your family’s needs at any point along your child’s haircare journey.

This book has officially gone to the top of my must buy list. Whilst I know a lot about looking after my natural hair, Miss E’s hair is a whole other kettle of fish. There are several techniques I need to learn or improve such as parting hair, flat twisting and box braids and luckily for me, this book covers these topics and more. It features ‘almost 500 full colour photos, including step-by-step tutorials’ and also covers useful topics such as entertaining your child during styling and maintaining hairstyles.  Being familiar with Rory’s writing style from her blog, I’m very confident that this book will be both informative and easy to read.

I plan to get both the Kindle and print version as I’d like a copy for Miss E and I to read through together and also something quick and accessible on my phone. The book is available from and

The Book Club | Emi’s Curly, Coily, Cotton Candy Hair

It is super important to me that my daughter be surrounded by positive images of black women. I want her to see people who look like her when she watches tv, opens up a magazine or delves into the wonderful world of literature. Thus, I was very excited to hear about this new book from Tina Olajide, a prominent figure in the UK natural hair world.

Everyone…meet Emi!

Emi’s Curly, Coily, Cotton Candy Hair is about Emi, ‘a creative seven-year-old girl with a BIG imagination’ and in this book she describes all the cool and quirky things she likes most about her hair. From the shape and movement of her hair to detangling single strand knots.

The Inspiration:

“I created Emi, because I realised there weren’t enough heroines for little brown girls to look up to. Emi reminded me of the confident and inquisitive little girl I was and the importance of nurturing the spark inside every girl.”

-Tina Olajide

Future stories will explore STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) and the arts through Emi’s eyes, bringing girls and boys along for each new adventure.  The book is available on and Amazon UK and would make a great Christmas present for any little girls or boys in your life.

One for the kids: Chocolate Me! Book

I love me some Taye Diggs. In fact in our family he’s known as ‘Taiye’ with full Nigerian accent and all!! So when I discovered his royal hotness had co-written a book for children celebrating the beauty of being black, I fell in love with him all over again. Chocolate Me is aimed for children ages 4 and up. The main character is teased for looking different i.e. darker skin and curly hair. He tells his mother he wishes he could be more like everyone else and she helps him to see how beautiful he is.

“For years before they both achieved acclaim in their respective professions, good friends Taye Diggs and Shane W. Evans wanted to collaborate on Chocolate Me!, a book based on experiences of feeling different and trying to fit in as kids. Now, both men are fathers and see more than ever the need for a picture book that encourages all people, especially kids, to love themselves.”


From the reviews the book has been getting, it looks like it would make for great bed time reading for any little munchkin. I think I might buy a couple of copies for my various nieces, nephews and cousins.

Here’s what reviewers from amazon had to say:

“I never write reviews, so this book really has touched me. My daughter is 2 years old and throughout the day she requests her “Chocolate Me” several times. I never get tired of reading it to her because it flows easy and visually it is very pleasing to the eyes. The message is quite clear- love who you are even if you look different from your friends. This book is not for kids that are “chocolate”, but for all kids whose parents actually want to teach them about diversity and how sometimes the things we say to our friends can hurt their feelings. As I read this to my daughter I point out different things and say things like, “Don’t cry little boy you are beautiful” to let her know that even though his friends question his looks he is chocolate and beautiful.”

“This is a wonderful book, I read it, read it numerous times to my 2 year old grandson, he loved it. I originally purchased for my 9 year old granddaughter because she has a complex about her “ebony” colored skin. She loved it…we’ve decided to leave this book at my parent’s house in order for all the kids (even the “Big” kids to read and enjoy it. I listened to Taye Diggs on a radio talk show promoting his book and decided to purchase it immediately and I’m glad I did. Any book that can hold a 2 year old’s attention and a request to be read again, and to hear him repeat the phrase “Chocoloate Me” while the book is being read to him, is rated “excellent” by me!”

“This book touches on bullying, cultural awareness, and restoring self confidence. I enjoyed reading this book to my boys because they had questions that opened a dialogue. They and all children are to embrace their unique and beautiful flavors, and others ad well, and be able to make posiitive changes to our world.”