________________ CM . . . . Volume XI Number 17 . . . . April 29, 2005

cover

Wanda and the Wild Hair.

Barbara Azore. Illustrated by Georgia Graham.
Toronto, ON: Tundra Books, 2005.
32 pp., pbk., $22.99.
ISBN 0-88776-717-6.

Preschool-grade 1 / Ages 3-6.

Review by Reesa Cohen.

*** /4

The title and the cover illustration say it all. This simple, but entertaining story focuses on a little girl with wild, curly, unruly hair.

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 the summer and caught snowflakes in winter.

internal art     Wanda obviously adores her hair, and it becomes her identity. However, even though she is happy with her hair, it has become a source of contention for others, including her mother, her father, and her teacher. One morning, Wanda is forced to go to school with her mother's earring lodged in her hair. After a troubling day worrying about the earring and being scolded by her teacher, she heads home and runs into more "hair" related problems, including a magpie, a cat and an English Sheep dog. The incident leads to Wanda's finally agreeing to a hair cut.

     This charming story is well served by the delightful comic illustrations of Georgia Graham. The colourful pastel chalk illustrations in double page spreads feature a quirkiness and energy that mimics Wanda herself and her emotions. Readers sense the happiness when she thinks about her hair and feel her pain, embarrassment and worry when the earring gets caught. The series of mishaps in the story are captured in an exaggerated humorous fashion. The vivid colours add to the fun while complementing the playful style of the text.

     Children will relate to having adults nagging them about their hair and will sympathize with Wanda's having a particularly "bad hair day." Readers will also enjoy her feisty character, her optimism and her especially her new haircut!

Recommended.

Reesa Cohen is an Instructor of Children's Literature and Information Literacy at the Faculty of Education, University of Manitoba in Winnipeg, MB.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

Copyright the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.
Published by
The Manitoba Library Association
ISSN 1201-9364
Hosted by the University of Manitoba.

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