Tuesday, October 16, 2012

The Children's Corner: Picture Book Review: Wanda and the Wild Hair by Barbara Azore

Wanda and the Wild Hair
Words by Barbara Azore
Illustrated by Georgia Graham
Published by Tundra Books
Published in 2012
32 Pages
Ages 3-6
Blue-eyed freckle-faced Wanda has a problem: she loves her wild hair dearly, but it drives all the adults in her life to distraction. She loves the way it feels when she touches it. She loves the way it looks when she pats it in front of the mirror. But her mother always nags her to wash it, her father wants to take her to the poodle parlor for a trim, and her teacher threatens to ask the principal to cut it off. What can poor Wanda do? A series of mishaps with a magpie, a cat, and a large English sheepdog finally convince Wanda that her beautiful hair has to be changed. Kids who love their hair will identify with Wanda’s playful solution to make her adults happy.

This first picture book by author Barbara Azore is brought to life by the quirky, mischievous, pastel illustrations of artist Georgia Graham.
A line or two: 

Wanda's hair was wild. Really wild. And she loved it. She loved the way it felt when she touched it. Soft and springy like newly cut grass.

She loved the way her bangs shaded her eyes in summer and caught snowflakes in the winter.

My Thoughts:

Wanda's hair is really wild and the adults in her life are so mean about it! They keep asking her to comb her hair and go to the hairdresser, they keep telling her she looks like a sheepdog and making her write lines out on the chalkboard at school. This book follows a day in Wanda's life where things go really wild. Not only are the adults being mean about her hair, everything starts to go wrong. Animals start to attack her and things keep getting stuck in her hair. By the end of the day, she has no choice, she finally has to go to the hairdresser and get it fixed.

I'm a bit torn about this book. On the one hand my daughter really likes the pictures and liked when I read it to her. On the other hand I thought it was a bit too over the top at times. I kind of cringed when Wanda's father told her that she looked like a sheepdog and when the teacher singled her out making her write "I will comb my hair" on the chalkboard over and over again. Instead of talking things over and explaining why hygeine is important I think the book only sympathizes with children and does nothing to actually help children figure out why adults would react this way. Especially in the end when Wanda is forced to go the hairdresser and her last thought to herself is don't worry, your hair will be back in no time. The one thing I did like is that encourages children to be themselves, and I think that's important too.

Something unexpected these last few weeks was that Wanda and the Wild Hair was featured on one of the children's programs we watch (Giselle's Big Backyard - Book Club). It gaves us a whole different perspective on the book. Seeing children talk about what they like about their hair gaves us something new to talk about while reading the book. My daughter's was that her hair is long, just like mine.

Overall a really beautifully illustrated book and one that my daughter liked, just one I also had a few issues with.

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest opinion.

You can purchase Wanda and the Wild Hair in hardcover and paperback from Amazon.com , Amazon.ca and Chapters.
You can also add it to your Goodreads list.

1 comment:

  1. Sounds very cute, I should check this out for my grandbaby!


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