"It isn't fair, I have to say, that I was born with hair this way."
So begins Nadia Budde's book Bristly Hair and I Don't Care! How many people have thought this very same thought? Countless millions, I would guess, based on the proliferation of hair-care products. Straighteners, curlers, colors, clippers, extensions, the list goes on and on. In Budde's book, it's not just hair. Everyone wishes his or her appearance were a little different. Neck, too thick. Legs, too long (or short). Eyes, wrong color. Everything, wrong shape, size or color. "Parts they don't like, they want to be better. . . ."
Budde's message is perfect for kids who are coming into awareness of their own image, an age that seems to come earlier and earlier. Society's ideals of beauty change continually, but one thing remains the same: the ideal is unrealistic for the vast majority of us who will never fit the prescribed mold. Uncle Nook brings his tidbit of wisdom to the group, reminding them, and us, that "Each of you is quite a sight, but the way you are is the way that's right!"
Budde's goofy drawings and clever rhymes are a pleasure to look at and read, and will delight young readers at story time. I wonder if she might write a second book emphasizing the importance of good grooming and taking care of your body. After all, certain elements of our appearance are completely in our own control. But that's another topic for another day. . . .
Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for the complimentary electronic review copy!