The young girl in this tale has a riot of spiral curls and they’re a fabulous shade of auburn too. They look so fun. But she bemoans them with their knots and their frizz.
There’s fun onomatopoeia as the lass tries ridiculous ways to make her hair straight, including weighing it down with books and pinning her curls taut with sticky tape. But it just “pings” and “doooiiings” back into place. The story has a quick pace with well-resolved, rhyming couplets and could be read aloud with some immature foot-stomping for fun.
The illustrations are wonderful. They’re bold, bright and funny. There’s a mix of crazy-big, full-page pictures that almost jump off the page and calmer drawings surrounded by white space. The curly girl’s facial expressions are spot on and her hair is a fantastic feature of every drawing, helping to convey her mood at each stage of the story. There’s fun, curly hair for the endpapers too.
Towards the end of the story, she meets a straight-haired lass lamenting her own flat hairstyle and both girls realise how silly they have been. Love what you’ve got, young ladies. And us grown-ups too.
I don’t want curly hair is written and illustrated by Laura Ellen Anderson, published by Bloomsbury, March 2017, $14.99 (pbk) ISBN 9781408868409.