Bugs in My Hair! by David Shannon

Bugs in My Hair! by David Shannon
Publisher: The Blue Sky Press
Genre: Children’s (0 – 6 y.o.), Middle Grade (8 – 12 y.o.), Contemporary
Rating: 5 Stars
Reviewed by Astilbe

This book is guaranteed to make you laugh–and itch! From the opening picture of a happy, oversized louse appearing with his suitcases, you know these bugs are determined to stay, and Mom is about to go nuts! Nobody talks about them, but they are everywhere. (Some estimate 20 million children a year host them.) Oh the shame and humiliation of having bugs in your hair! But if you go to school, or have play dates, chances are good you might meet them someday. Maybe you already have! Lucky for you, the unwelcome bugs in this story are so funny you will be laughing aloud–even when Mom attacks them with battle-tested anti-lice weapons. Shannon peppers his hilarious scenes with fun, “nitpicking” facts about these “lousy” critters and pokes fun at common denial: “It’s probably ash from that volcano in Pogo Pogo. “Soon the party’s over–Bye bye, Little Nasties! Once again Shannon has created a fresh, highly entertaining read-aloud classic that begs to be read again and again.

Humor makes everything better…even lice.

I admired how much work Mr. Shannon put into making the itchy and embarrassing topic of head lice something fun. This is one of those topics that most people don’t even want to think about, much less turn into fodder for jokes. It takes a lot of creativity to make such a thing work, but he did a wonderful job of it!

It took me a little while to figure out the best age group for this tale. While the sarcasm in it will probably best be appreciated by older kids, the plot itself felt like it had a wide range of appeal due to the fact that people of all ages can catch head lice and be frustrated by the process of trying to get rid of those icky little creatures.

The ending made me laugh out loud. It fit the theme of this picture book perfectly, and it left lots of room for a sequel if one is ever written. I also enjoyed the way the author snuck in one last joke there for everyone who has had head lice or even been suspected of having it. Yes, I know I’m being vague here, but that final page is something every reader gets to be surprised by just like I was. It couldn’t have been better.

Bugs in My Hair! was a hilarious look at a serious subject.

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