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PUZZLEHEAD by James Yang


by James Yang and illustrated by James Yang

Age Range: 3 - 6

Pub Date: April 21st, 2009
ISBN: 978-1-4169-0936-1
Publisher: Atheneum

The world is ripe for exploring with friends, but Puzzlehead (his head is a toppled capital E) can’t seem to find his groove. His friend Bob invites him to spin on a swinglike contraption, but it just makes Puzzlehead dizzy, and Sue’s bouncing game is a headache-in-the-making. Finally, he finds his “perfect place”—a capital E–shaped hole in the ground into which he can stick his head: “Puzzlehead wanted to stay there forever.” Alas, he gets stuck there, upside-down and alone. When his four friends band together to pull him out—POP!—they all go flying, and—BLAM!—hit the ground, all their strangely shaped heads fitting together like puzzle pieces into a big rectangle. “I think I found the best Puzzlehead place of all,” Puzzlehead proclaims. Perhaps the author is suggesting to young readers that what feels like their “perfect place” may not be their “best place?” Colorful, digitally rendered, geometric creatures scamper and play abstractly like a Calder mobile, but the text is rather flat, and the message is either intriguingly multifaceted or just, well, puzzling. (Picture book. 3-6)