J.D. and the Family Business

Image of J.D. and the Family Business (J.D. the Kid Barber)
Release Date: 
August 3, 2021
Reviewed by: 

“A heartwarming . . . depiction of a close Black family . . .”

J.D. is a precocious eight year old, following his family in exploring entrepreneurship. His mother has just gotten her MBA and J.D.’s haircutting skills are so good he has a paid job at a the town barbershop. But that’s not enough for J.D.. He wants to build on his success and do something even bigger and better. Luckily he has an older sister, Vanessa, who has similar dreams.

J.D. sums up his achievements this way:

“I beat the only real barber in town, Henry Jr. of Hart and Son. Then I started working for him . . . But I wanted a bigger audience, so I started putting videos online. Oh, and I started cutting my own hair because I didn’t like the way my mom did it.”

J. Dillard presents a heartwarming story in his depiction of a close Black family (J.D.’s grandparents are part of the household). There’s an old-fashioned feel to the storytelling, despite mentions of Google and Youtube. The easy rhythm of a loving family creates a backdrop similar to classics like Leave it to Beaver. For readers who want to cozy up to a family that cares deeply for each other, this book is pure comfort reading.

There’s not much tension in the plot, despite an expensive broken camera that needs to be replaced and a competition for a chance at major television exposure. The ending is predictable but manages to be satisfying all the same. Still, the book is an easy, accessible read. The illustrations by Akeem Roberts add just the touches the text needs, adding character and expression that the words don’t always detail.

The book ends with a follow-up story already hinted at. J.D. is destined to take his barbering skills to an even bigger audience. Readers will be sure to follow.