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Stephanie's Ponytail (Munsch for Kids) Paperback – May 1, 1996

4.3 out of 5 stars 180 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 1-3-"Ugly, ugly, very ugly," decrees the class when Stephanie arrives in school with a ponytail. But the next day, all the girls have ponytails, too. Dismayed and disgusted by these copycats, Stephanie has her Mom move her ponytail to one side with the same results. After wearing it top and front as well, Stephanie confronts the class with her final act of defiance-she announces that she's going to shave her head! Next day, her teacher and classmates are bald as billiard balls and Stephanie? Why, she's chased from the classroom with her very ordinary ponytail flying out behind her. Munsch lampoons the slavish conformity of kids while applauding Stephanie's courage and audacity in this thinly disguised paean to individualism. The cumulative text and progressively more unusual hairstyles will appeal to young readers, and the turnabout ending is satisfying if not surprising. Students of all genders, races, body types, and ages are equally subject to ridicule. The blatant hostility to Stephanie's creative coiffures is never explained, however, and her unholy glee when escaping the rampaging mob of bald classmates borders on malicious. The text is presented opposite the full-page watercolor illustrations that are suitably cartoonish and silly. Independent readers will notice the funny details, such as pets with ponytails. While too small for use with large groups, this book could spark a lively discussion if read aloud. Predictable, irreverent Munsch.
Carol Ann Wilson, Westfield Memorial Library,
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Review

“Predictable, irreverent Munsch.”—School Library Journal
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 6 - 7 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool and up
  • Lexile Measure: 500L (What's this?)
  • Series: Munsch for Kids
  • Paperback: 24 pages
  • Publisher: Annick Press; Classic Munsch edition (May 1, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1550374842
  • ISBN-13: 978-1550374841
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 0.1 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (180 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #12,604 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Robert Munsch is the author of more than 25 books for children including The Paper Bag Princes and Stephanie's Ponytail. He was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and studied to be a Jesuit priest before deciding to work with children instead. He taught in a variety of nursery schools and daycare centers while he earned an MA in Early Childhood Education. In 1975, Munsch and his wife, Ann, moved to Guelph, Ontario. The Munschs have three children: Julie, Andrew, and Tyya (see them all in Something Good!).

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I am a pre-school teacher, and Stephanie's Ponytail is my all time favorite book. There are so many things to discuss. We talk about how feelings get hurt, sassiness, honesty, and copycatting. I have told this story to groups of up to 150 kids at a time, with all of them listening. I use it as an interactive story with them doing the "Ugly Ugly" chant, and I usually choose one to be Stephanie (usually a girl with a long ponytail). Robert Munsch's books are all great. Others I like are Show and Tell, Thomas' Snowsuit, MMM Cookies. They all have great lessons to teach the children in a funny way. Candice
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Format: Paperback
I am a nine year old. I like "Stephanie's Ponytail" because of the way Robert Munsch has Stephanie changing ponytails and everyone was copycatting her. I wonder why at the end he came up with shaving heads! I think that's so creative what he does at the end of almost every book. I like where all the kids say to Stephanie "ugly, ugly, very ugly!" So try some of Robert Munsch!
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Format: Paperback
Stephanie just wanted to go to school with a ponytail. But first the other kids make fun of her hairstyle, and then they all decide to wear their hair the same way. Each time Stephanie changes her hairstyle, she is berated (Ugly, ugly, very ugly!) and then copied. But Stephanie get even with them! She tells them she will shave her head, and sure enough... everyone shows up at school bald as a baby, except Stephanie, wearing a ponytail in the back. The last two pictures in this book are hysterically funny.
My kids love this book. It gives us a nice springboard to discuss whether they like to be trendsetters or followers, and how they feel when someone copies their original ideas. This is one of Munsch's best, and he is GOOD.
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Format: Paperback
When I was in my 20s, I had a conversation with my dad once and he said something that has always stuck in my head. He said that if someone is mean to him, he's going to be mean right back--but even worse. I said, "really?" He asked me if I wouldn't do the same. I replied, "No! Because if someone is hurting me then that means that they feel even worse." Bullying is a big problem right now in schools, but I don't believe that teaching kids to trick bullies (and essentially bully them right back) is the answer.

None of the negative reviews of this book have actually talked about the plot of this book. Stephanie goes to school and kids make fun of her ponytail. The kids say to her "ugly! ugly! ugly!" She calls them "brainless copycats". Being a school teacher, I can just imagine both phrases spreading like wildfire across a K-2 classroom when the teachers aren't present. The successive days she wears her hair in different styles until at the end she says she's going to shave her head and everyone else does it the next day--to make fun of her, but she comes to school with her hair in a ponytail. She laughs and then they all chase after her angrily.

There is a brand of humor spreading in schools that really concerns me as a parent. How is this book funny? Is it funny to make fun of a child? Is it funny to imitate the Ugly! Ugly! chant? Is it wise to laugh when she tricks them--out of spite--at the end of the book? My girls did not get at all that this book was unkind until I discussed it with them and then it left our house.

There is a book called Nurture ShockNurtureShock: New Thinking About Children that I highly recommend.
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By A Customer on June 28, 1999
Format: Paperback
This is a great book for all ages. I am 11 years old and i love it. My friends always copy me especially this one and i felt much better after i read it! It was so good!!!
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Format: Paperback
Stephanie's ponytail is a wonderful story to read aloud to children. It provides for a humorous way to teach about copying what other people do. I am a second grade teacher and have put multiple copies in our class library for the children to read themselves. Because they have heard me read it, and because of the repitition it contains, even my lower readers are able to enjoy it and feel some success at the same time. It has become a class favorite!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Stephanie's ponytail is a lovely and clever written book that I bought for my six years old daughter, Stephanie. The moral of the story is that it's okay to be different. My daughter and I enjoyed the story; my daughter laughed so hard during the last four pages of the story when everyone in her class shaved his/her head. I would also recommend two other books written by Jon Muth, Zen shorts and the Three Questions.
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Format: Paperback
I am a prekindergarten teacher. This book is a favorite of all of my students both boys and girls. The story has an important moral that all children can learn from. The moral is to be yourself and that you do not need to copy others. Stephanie not only does her own thing but stands up for herself. This story gives children the courage to stand up for themselves and to be an individual.
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