Mammals, including humans, are distinguished by having hair, sometimes a little, sometimes a lot, in many colors and forms, and for many purposes.
This lively book addresses a familiar subject in an engaging way. Singer speaks directly to her readers, opening with the question “Were you a hairy baby?” The format is straightforward: short expository paragraphs accompanied by stock photos overlaid with Colombet’s cartoon images of a komondor (a long-haired Hungarian sheepdog) and a hoopoe (a bird with a distinctive crest but no hair) who comment and ask questions in speech bubbles. After discussing human hair, Singer goes on to consider the hair of other mammals, explaining differences in hair and its varied functions, introducing and defining appropriate terminology as necessary. She returns to hair on human bodies to explain the functions of eyelashes and eyebrows. The tiny hairs in human nostrils are sensitive vibrissae, like the whiskers of dogs and cats. Finally she points out that while individual humans may choose to change their hair, hair also changes as we age. “No two people—or any other mammals—have hair that’s the same. That makes every one of us unique.” (Humans depicted are diverse.) Of all the author’s many books, this is most like Eggs (2008) in its conversational, informational approach.
Sure to be welcomed in settings with curious elementary-age children. (hair trivia, glossary, selected bibliography, further reading) (Nonfiction. 7-10)