Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Madam C.J. Walker and new cosmetics

Madam C.J. Walker and new cosmetics

Katherine E. Krohn
Illustrator:  Richard Dominguez , Dave Hoover , Bill Anderson , Charles Barnett III 
Nonfiction Graphic Novel  Series
For ages 7 to 9
Graphic Library, 2007   ISBN: 978-0736864855

Sarah Breedlove was widowed when she was very young and, wanting a better life for herself and her little daughter, she left her home state of Louisiana. Sarah ended up living in St. Louis where she did her best to provide for her daughter by washing clothes. She worked hard in this job for many years and then, in the early 1900's she noticed that her hair was starting to fall out. A hard life and a lack of bathing facilities made it difficult for women like her to care for their hair.

Looking for someone to help her save her hair, Sarah went to see a hairdresser called Annie Pope-Turbo. Annie gave Sarah products for her hair that helped and she also gave Sarah a job selling Annie's hair care products door-to-door. The work paid better than washing clothes and Sarah continued to sell the hair care products even after she moved to Denver.

In Denver Sarah got the idea to make her own hair products, and after she tested her Wonderful Hair Grower on herself, she started to sell it to others. This was just the beginning of what would be one woman's determination to succeed in the business world.

In this book the author not only describes Madam C.J. Walker's successes, but she also emphasizes the fact that Madam C. J. Walker did a great deal to help other African-American women who needed jobs and financial security – just as she had once done. The narrative, set in a graphic novel format, is easy to follow and to understand. This book - one of many in the Graphic Library series - brings history to life, and makes the subject palatable for young readers.