Only a Trenza Away by Nadine Fonseca

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Book Review of Only a Trenza Away by Nadine Fonseca

I remember when I was little that my mom would braid my hair at night so that it would be crimped in the morning. I just heard that the crimped style is coming back, by the way! I love it! When I stayed at my aunt’s house overnight, she would also braid my hair. My dad, though??? No. He NEVER braided my hair. I don’t think he ever did my hair at all. I don’t think he even knows how to braid?? Well, in Only a Trenza Away by Nadine Fonseca, it’s Xiomara’s father that braids her hair each night. It’s such a fun tradition and I love the bond and the relationship it creates.


A little girl feels her father’s love as he takes time to braid her hair each night and share imaginative bedtime stories.

Every night, Xiomara’s (zee-oh-MA-da) papa delicately braids her hair before bed. As he gently tugs and twists and tightens her hair, father and daughter embark on imaginative and fun adventures as he makes up stories about Xia and her trenzas, or “braids” in Spanish.

In one story, her trenza becomes a sturdy twisted vine that she uses to bravely swing through the jungle. In another, her trenzas are jump ropes as she catches the beat to play double Dutch with the best players in the neighborhood.

But Xia worries what she would do if Papa was not there to help her in a real adventure—like starting a new school. Could the strength Xia needs already be woven into her braids?

My Book Review:

I love this story! It’s super cute! First, let me say how darling the illustrations are! They are bright, colorful, and well done. They give the reader such a great idea of who Xiomara is and what her personality is. I especially love the illustrations of the places Xiomara and her father travel to while he braids her hair. The jungle scene is my favorite!

I love the bond between father and daughter. Their relationship is so sweet and sincere and full of love. A lot of dads read stories to their daughters at night, but I don’t know any that braid their daughter’s hair. What a sweet moment. Through this nightly ritual, Xiomara learns to be brave, patient, and ambitious. She’s definitely a daddy’s girl through and through!

When her father can’t be home one night to braid her hair, Xiomara has a rough night. She feels lost and sad, and her hair doesn’t feel right. Her father comes home and hears about her rough night. He says the sweetest line to her, “I was only a trenza away.” Trenza is the Spanish word for braids. When she feels scared or sad, all she needs to do is think of her braids and the adventures she’s shared with her dad, and she’ll feel him near. She’ll be able to remember to be brave because her dad wove that bravery into her braids.

I wish I had little kids I could read this book to. Anyone want to send their kids over for a story? It’s so cute! I may just read it to my big girls anyway…and then maybe I’ll braid their hair tonight.


Only a Trenza Away Coloring Page

Click on the image to access a free coloring page!


G Rating

Content Rating: G

  • Profanity: None
  • Intimacy: None
  • Violence: None

Age Recommendation: Everyone


My Rating: 4/5

4 Star Review

Disclosure: I did receive a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.





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