Friday, April 23, 2010

Ella Kazoo Will Not Brush Her Hair


Lee Fox; Illustrated by Jennifer Plecas

I'm sure many parents of young girls will be able to relate to this book without even half trying. No matter how tightly she grips her Goody brush, sometimes a mom is no match for her wild-headed, determined daughter. There just aren't enough pink sparkly barrettes and flowered headbands in the world to persuade a girl to sit down and have her hair tamed. Ella Kazoo's mom is finding this out the hard way.

Just like the book title hints, the premise of the story is Ella Kazoo's refusal to brush her hair. She first hides herself, and when that doesn't work, she resorts to hiding the hairbrush. She throws herself into a heap onto the floor and pitches a major fit. She dashes off as quick as can be, sliding outside to evade her mom.  Ella tries every trick in the book to avoid a hair brushing until her mom just throws up her hands and admits defeat.

Just because her mom gives up, doesn't mean Ella's hair will follow suit. Untended, it quickly grows to her waist, then continues on past her knees.  Soon it puddles in a wiry pool about her feet, trailing on the ground behind her as she walks, like a brown tangled bridal veil. Ella's hair is out of control, the snarl growing larger by the day, until even Ella has to admit ... she's had enough! 

Luckily there are people specially trained to handle situations like these. These people sport fabulous hairstyles and know how to wield sharp scissors and are versed in rosemary scented shampoos.  Ella's mom takes her to one such salon where a group of stylists consult, then make light work of her troublesome tresses.  Ella emerges with a light heart and even lighter head.  Her unruly hair has been transformed into a smart, short style that both she and her mom can be happy with.     

I like the rhyming verses and the light humor.  The adorable illustrations are a great match for the written word.  I particularly like Ella's stance, where she "roars at her mom like a big growly bear."  She looks exactly like a four year old who is desperately trying to get her way.  A great little detail is the way Ella's sweet little poodle turns up on each page - he gets harder to find as her hair grows, so it becomes almost a little game to point him out. This is a fun book about an exaggerated problem that little girls will find downright hysterical.    

Review copy provided by Walker & Company.  

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