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Punk Wig Hardcover – February 1, 2008

5 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Narrated by a little boy whose mother has cancer, or what he calls “alien blobs inside her,” Punk Wig features a family who gets through a tough time with flying colors. The color in this case is bright orange, the color of Mom’s, which has spikes on top that look like candle flames. Ries tells the story with a light touch, leavening a scary subject with comic relief (mother and son trying on funny hairpieces before they decide upon Punk Wig). She also focuses on the simple, valuable act of being together and talking as the child pushes Mom on the swing, picks out a pumpkin as orange as Punk Wig, and puts the wig on a snowman mother and child have made. In the spring, Mom gets the results of her tests and offers her son a wonderful punk wig, which he proudly sports on the last page. The appealing watercolors, set mostly against white backdrops, zero in on the people in the story, allowing children to see both a little bit of the mother’s struggle and the happiness and love the mother and child share. Grades K-3. --Abby Nolan


A serious illness is given a lighthearted and encouraging treatment as a young boy relates how his mother is undergoing chemotherapy for cancer...Kono's watercolor illustrations convey a blithe touch and reflect the warm relationship between mom and son. This positive and upbeat approach to coping with cancer will be a welcome addition. --Kirkus Reviews

Dealing with cancer is not easy for any family, but this book is one resource to help a child cope with a parent's illness. The young boy's mother has "alien blobs" inside her, and the medicine that will "zap" them makes Mother ill and causes her hair to fall out. Mother and son go wig shopping and have fun trying on wigs. Mother picks out an orange wig, spiky on the top. As Mother continues to face chemotherapy, the brightly colored wig helps them keep their sense of humor. The day comes when the doctor's report shows her as cancer-free, and since her hair is growing back, she gives the punk wig to the young boy. The story handles a tough subject with sensitivity, grace, and a sense of fun. It covers some of the issues facing families without giving too much information that might overwhelm a young child, and provides a good introduction to a hard subject. The watercolor pictures fit well with the text, portraying both the mother's treatment and her fun with the family --Library Media Connection

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 7 - 9 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 4
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Boyds Mills Pr; Library Binding edition (February 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1590784863
  • ISBN-13: 978-1590784860
  • Product Dimensions: 10.3 x 10.2 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #768,137 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
This remarkable book is bound to help many, many families who are touched by cancer, especially families with young children. While some children's books on cancer contain too much information that might frighten or confuse young kids, this book tells them just what they need to know.

The story stands out for several reasons:
-It is appropriate even for very young children.
-It gives kids an idea of what to expect if Mom faces cancer, but in a way that is manageable and even humorous.
-It gives children a sense of control by showing how they can help. (The main character makes his mom lunch and helps her pick out her funny wig.)
-The illustrations are upbeat and hopeful.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Great picture book about the "alien blobs" inside Mom's body, the chemotherapy that fights them, and the ups and downs of cancer and treatment. This came across my desk as I was undergoing chemo; it's very true-to-life from a child's perspective so far as Mom's chemo and its side effects, and particularly the temptation to "go wild" with your wig choice at a time in our life when your choices are few. After considering some very conservative styles, the mother in the book buys a red punk-style wig; mine was a trashy blond Marilyn Monroe type. I highly recommend this book for those with young children who know someone dealing with cancer and chemo.
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Format: Hardcover
Lori Ries's handling of the situation when Mom gets cancer is realistic yet reassuring to her little boy. Like Erma Bombeck often did, Lori has taken a very serious topic and made it understandable for a child, as well as acceptable and even fun.

Erin Kono's colorful wigs add to the hilarity, especially when Mom's punk wig ends upon the snowman outside.
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