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Crazy Hair Day
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About the Author

BARNEY SALTZBERG is the author-illustrator of many books for children and has also recorded two albums of music for children. When not writing and illustrating, he performs in schools, libraries, bookstores, and hospitals.

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K-Gr 3-A crackerjack read-aloud with a great finish. Stanley is ready for Crazy Hair Day at school. He gets up early, his mother helps him create a spiky tricolored wonder, and off he goes to discover that Crazy Hair Day is the following Friday and today is School Picture Day. After his friend Larry teases him, an embarrassed Stanley hides in the bathroom. Larry tries to talk him out in time for the picture but Stanley is afraid he'll "look like the class weirdo." Once he realizes that he wants to be in the photo, he returns to the classroom, only to find everyone with a crazy hairdo. The pencil, ink, and acrylic illustrations support the text beautifully. Although their species is not clear, the animal characters resemble aardvarkian Arthur. This delightful tale of confusion and compassion is just the ticket to prepare for special days or defuse potential teasing if someone should arrive in the right getup on the wrong day.-Jody McCoy, The Bush School, Seattle, WA Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.

Stanley Birdbaum has committed perhaps the worst possible kid faux pas: he has worn a wacky hairstyle to school for Crazy Hair Day-on the wrong day. In fact, it's actually Class Picture Day. Granted, Stanley's 'do has been expertly executed by Stanley's mom: "She wrapped. She dipped. And to make his hair perfect, she sprayed Stanley's hair bright orange and blue. `Ta-da!' said Stanley. `I am a work of art!' " But his pride vaporizes when Stanley discovers his error, and he takes refuge in the boys' bathroom, resolving to be a no-show for the class photo. Saltzberg (Soccer Mom from Outer Space) portrays the characters as roly-poly hedgehog-like critters, but the school setting and social milieu are authentically and poignantly human. He understands how kids revel in the ostensible rule-breaking and goofy creativity of "Spirit Days" ("Stanley rolled the rubber bands in his hair. He gently tapped the tops of his spikes" before entering the classroom), and also how life at the elementary level takes no prisoners-even Stanley's best friend Larry scores a quip at his expense ("Is that a hair-do or a hair-don't?"). The story begins to sink under the weight of empathy as the coif-challenged hero slowly works through his embarrassment (with an assist from the now conciliatory Larry). But the wrap-up offers Stanley the perfect hair tonic: the entire class welcomes him to the class picture with their own hastily improvised but undisputedly zany headdress. Ages 5-8. (Aug.) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.

A gently humorous tale for elementary age readers about a kid's worst day ever, eased by friendship and kindness. --Los Angeles Times Saltzberg conveys the pleasing goofiness of special days at school when students can let their hair down -- Pajama Day, Sixties Day, or best of all: Crazy Hair Day. --Kirkus Reviews The pictures are bright and appealing, and the authenticity of Stanley's situation is likely to put the readers in the mood to share their most embarrassing moments. --Booklist

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