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Sunday, February 9, 2014

Bugs in My Hair! Written and illustrated by David Shannon. Blue Sky Press, Scholastic. 2013. $19.99 ages 5 and up

"My HEAD really ITCHED!
What in the heck were
they doing up there?


they were
feasting on my 

Leave it to the incomparable David Shannon to write a book that will have us scratching, and laughing, and learning every time we share it. It is surely an essential read for every school classroom. It will make you laugh, and it is sure to make you itch! That is its intention.

David Shannon has done his research. You will come away from the reading with a better knowledge of those tiny bugs that strike terror in the hearts of parents and teachers alike...and that often cause great embarrassment to the children whose heads they like to infest.

There is so much here to enjoy. Bringing some cheer to a subject that can take on mammoth proportions might be just the ticket. The year I lost one of my students (grade two) to cancer was the year I decided that 'lice' were a concern that were given too much attention in the real world. They are bugs, there are many ways to control them, and they are pretty harmless. I grant that they are a nuisance.

David Shannon invites all of us to look at the silly side of the problem, with his witty text and his very funny images. I have read his new book a number of times. Did I scratch my head? Yes, I did. Did I even think 'ick'? Yes, I did. But, that's about the extent of it.

The young man whose story this is has numerous fears once his mother finds lice In his hair. Will he ever have friends again? Who was the culprit who passed them on to him? Turns out a number of people had 'em. Perhaps it was the adult reaction that caused more concern than was needed to deal with the problem.

Turns out that there are numerous 'cures'. Some are as nasty as they sound. The real solution...a comb, one of a variety of oils that lice do not like, and a bit of elbow grease.  Gone, but not always forever!

"So we went through the whole thing again and now at last, those awful, disgusting lice are completely gone."

The bright color palette, the energy filled spreads, the expressive bug faces and antics will entertain and enlighten as Mr. Shannon adds tidbits of real information throughout the text. Funny, irreverent, and right up a kid's alley....and vintage David Shannon.

But, be prepared:


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