This charming, engaging story offers a funny look at what happens when a child’s imagination unfurls.

Dinosaurs Living in My Hair

In this debut rhyming picture book, Sabrina has masses of wild, curly blond hair and worries that there may be animals—like dinosaurs—living in there. 

Five-year-old Sabrina faces a tough challenge: her crazy curls are difficult to comb and manage. When her mother tells her that “Creatures could hide out there,” Sabrina starts to worry she could be right: “Underneath all this mess, / Tangled up in my hair, / What if there are dinosaurs / Living in there?” Jealous that her short-haired brother can get ready quickly, Sabrina wishes her mother were the one with the problem; still, Sabrina tries to remain calm and not worry. When the clock strikes 8:30 and it’s time to get ready for school, Sabrina goes through her daily routine: getting dressed, grabbing her pink bow, and heading to the mirror with her blue comb to try and tame her curls. “The combing and brushing / Does little to help, / Still plenty of places / To hide at my scalp. / I think I see movement / Is Mom really right? / Do dinosaurs live / In my hair out of sight?” After spotting some T. rexes, raptors, and bats living in her hair, Sabrina’s mother brushes them all out, and Sabrina and her brothers are safe to go to school. Sabrina is a funny, sweet narrator who encounters a problem many kids may have—letting their imaginations run rampant. Told in rhyme, each page of verse contains four lines that give the story a singsong quality, while Matsick’s big, colorful illustrations help kids see Sabrina’s entanglements. The authors are at work on subsequent volumes in the series, and given the warm tone of the story and its relatable main character, there’s certainly potential for more.

This charming, engaging story offers a funny look at what happens when a child’s imagination unfurls.

Pub Date: April 16, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-9861922-0-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Rosevallee Creations

Review Posted Online: Sept. 23, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2015

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ABIYOYO RETURNS

The seemingly ageless Seeger brings back his renowned giant for another go in a tuneful tale that, like the art, is a bit sketchy, but chockful of worthy messages. Faced with yearly floods and droughts since they’ve cut down all their trees, the townsfolk decide to build a dam—but the project is stymied by a boulder that is too huge to move. Call on Abiyoyo, suggests the granddaughter of the man with the magic wand, then just “Zoop Zoop” him away again. But the rock that Abiyoyo obligingly flings aside smashes the wand. How to avoid Abiyoyo’s destruction now? Sing the monster to sleep, then make it a peaceful, tree-planting member of the community, of course. Seeger sums it up in a postscript: “every community must learn to manage its giants.” Hays, who illustrated the original (1986), creates colorful, if unfinished-looking, scenes featuring a notably multicultural human cast and a towering Cubist fantasy of a giant. The song, based on a Xhosa lullaby, still has that hard-to-resist sing-along potential, and the themes of waging peace, collective action, and the benefits of sound ecological practices are presented in ways that children will both appreciate and enjoy. (Picture book. 5-9)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2001

ISBN: 0-689-83271-0

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2001

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MORNING GIRL

Like the quiet lap of waves on the sand, the alternating introspections of two Bahamian island children in 1492. Morning Girl and her brother Star Boy are very different: she loves the hush of pre-dawn while he revels in night skies, noise, wind. In many ways they are antagonists, each too young and subjective to understand the other's perspective—in contrast to their mother's appreciation for her brother. In the course of these taut chapters concerning such pivotal events as their mother's losing a child, the arrival of a hurricane, or Star Boy's earning the right to his adult name, they grow closer. In the last, Morning Girl greets— with cordial innocence—a boat full of visitors, unaware that her beautifully balanced and textured life is about to be catalogued as ``very poor in everything,'' her island conquered by Europeans. This paradise is so intensely and believably imagined that the epilogue, quoted from Columbus's diary, sickens with its ominous significance. Subtly, Dorris draws parallels between the timeless chafings of sibs set on changing each other's temperaments and the intrusions of states questing new territory. Saddening, compelling—a novel to be cherished for its compassion and humanity. (Fiction. 8+)

Pub Date: Sept. 14, 1992

ISBN: 1-56282-284-5

Page Count: 80

Publisher: Hyperion

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 1992

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