When an imaginative, stubborn little girl refuses to brush her hair, strange consequences ensue.
The unnamed girl has beautiful, long wavy hair and prefers it tangled and wild. To her parents, she repeatedly states, “It’s just my way.” Soon, one mouse, then a second, and then more and more take up residence in the mess that is her hair. They tell her jokes, she shares her lunch with them, and they turn her hair into a mouse palace. All of these activities are shared by her doll, Baby, her constant companion. While she mostly enjoys the situation, she finally begins to understand that things have gotten out of control. The mice have convinced her to stop bathing because they can’t swim, resulting in offensive odors and loss of friends at school. Bernheimer employs a chatty narration that directly engages her audience. The tale is structured on a base of “what ifs…,” building upon absurdities that include parents who are barely there and amazingly tolerant while maintaining a sense of reality that allows young readers to believe, just a little, that it could happen. And of course, there’s a satisfying and reassuring conclusion. Parker’s digitally colored pencil illustrations complement the spirit of fun and fantasy, depicting a seemingly normal setting with the addition of some delightfully goofy details.
Imaginative fun for all. (Picture book. 4-8)