Cozbi Cabrera Celebrates Beauty with Lower and Intermediate Schools
By Lower School Literacy Specialist Heidi Byrnes-Cloët
This week, students in JK through 4th grade met with Cozbi A. Cabrera, an author, illustrator, graphic and textile designer, singer and poet. She shared her recent book My Hair Is A Garden, which celebrates beauty in its many diverse forms. The book tells the story of a young African-American girl who, through exploring her neighbor’s lovingly tended garden, learns how to care for and appreciate her hair.
Cabrera discussed her creative process in authoring and illustrating the book. Students received a “behind the scenes” look at the work artists often engage in before settling on a creative product to share with others. Cabrera shared snapshots of her studio showing her experimentation with clothing designs for her protagonist, only one of which made it into the book. The students also participated in a choral summary of the book, sung in rhyming verse. This experience demonstrated that responses to literature could be both analytic and creative. In other words, there is value in cultivating responses to literature that resonate with individuals on intellectual and emotional levels.
In addition to her book, Cabrera discussed her passion for textiles, including doll-making and sewing—she even made the clothes she was wearing! Students also enjoyed an audio recording of Cabrera when she was seven years old telling her father she wanted to be a writer and artist when she grew up.
Cabrera’s passion for cultivating diverse forms of beauty through the arts inspired all our students, from the youngest to the oldest.