Big Wig by Jonathan Hillman and Levi Hastings

Big Wig by Jonathan Hillman and Levi Hastings
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Genre: Contemporary, LGBTQ, Childrens (Ages 7-10)
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Nymphaea

In the spirit of Julián Is a Mermaid, this irrepressible picture book celebrates drag kids, individuality, and self-confidence from the perspective of a fabulous wig!

When a child dresses in drag to compete in a neighborhood costume competition, he becomes B. B. Bedazzle! A key part of B.B. Bedazzle’s ensemble is a wig called Wig. Together they are an unstoppable drag queen team! But Wig feels inadequate compared to the other, bigger wigs. When Wig flies off B. B.’s head, she goes from kid to kid instilling confidence and inspiring dreams in those who wear her:

Wig remembers what wigs can do.
Wig brushes the world,
Wig hears whispered wishes…
and turns them into
something true.
The bigger their dreams,
the bigger Wig seems.

This wonderful read aloud celebrates the universal childhood experience of dressing up and the confidence that comes with putting on a costume. And it goes further than that, acknowledging that sometimes dressing differently from what might be expected is how we become our truest and best selves.

A wig that’s got some magical powers that aren’t so magical, but they’re just as dynamic after all.

Everyone has that one garment that makes them feel bigger or bolder. That special sweater that makes them feel like a million bucks or a dress that’s THE dress. In the case of BB Bedazzle, it’s their wig. The writing in this story is good and it’s easy to understand. It’s cute and the illustrations are colorful, which should bring children right in. The story shows the very important need for children to understand that being different isn’t bad and it’s wonderful.

Some will read this book and say it’s not for children because the little boy is dressing in drag. The thing I took away from the story wasn’t so much that the boy dressed in drag, but that the boy was able to explore different ways of dressing. He could use the wig and his clothes for his imagination and to explore who he is. Every child needs the chance to figure out for themselves who they are and if they can do it, like this little boy, in a place that’s safe and where they are loved, then that’s what matters.

If you’re looking for a children’s book that shows being different isn’t bad, but rather fabulous and that being true to yourself is important, then this book is for you.

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