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Crazy Hair Hardcover – May 26, 2009
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The duo responsible for The Wolves in the Walls (2003) return with another chaotic picture book popping with bright collage and multimedia imagery. A man takes umbrage with a young girl ogling his outrageous hairdo, and tells her in a series of increasingly ridiculous rhymes all the things that can be found in the stupendous swaths swirling upon his head (“Hunters send in expeditions, / Radio back their positions / Still, we’ve lost a dozen there / Lost inside my crazy hair.”) Each page is a veritable feast for the eyes, with frazzled clumps of hair competing for attention with outlandish elements—carousels, pirate ships, blue octopi, comb-eating bears—incorporated into the frenzied mix. There’s something a little unsettling and unhinged about the imagery, just on the safe side of nightmarish; but the text, for the most part, is delightful and glib. The whole thing comes off as a little self-gratifying on the creators’ parts, but there is no doubting the dazzling creativity on display. Perhaps best recommended for children with an adventurous artistic sensibility. Preschool-Grade 3. --Ian Chipman
From the Back Cover
"In my hair
And ground sloths sleep.
Prides of lions
Make their lair
Somewhere in my crazy hair."
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Top customer reviews
How wonderful to find that Gaiman's captivating imagination and ability to create environments which are simultaneously other-worldly and yet somehow familiar translates so effectively to his writing for children.
I enjoy reading this book to my five year old son just as much as he delights in hearing it. It's not patronizing, it certainly doesn't end as you would expect a children's book to end. Perhaps some might even be a tiny bit scared by the fate of the little girl (although don't let that put you off, this is half the fun and wonder of the book).
I thoroughly recommend Crazy Hair, and the review would not be complete without mentioning the unique illustration of Dave McKean, which plays a huge part in elevating the book head and shoulders above your average bedtime reading fare. Check out the other Gaiman kid's books too, they are all great.
I read through it first by myself to make sure it wasn't too scary. Personally the fact that the main character has all of this crazy stuff living in his hair creeped me out a little. Then the girl gets sucked into his hair; which I thought might be scary to my 2 1/2 year old son. Still once the girl is in his hair she has a really good time. The pictures (in true Dave McKean style) are very abstract and a little creepy. There is one picture in particular with a pirate ship swooping through huge hair folicles that is a bit odd. So all-in-all the normal mix of wildly creative, creepy, strange that I have come to expect from the Gaiman/McKean team. The book itself is a good length for a toddler; long enough to be a good story but short enough to keep their attention.
So, how did my son like it?
He absolutely loves this book. We read it over and over. He loves that every stanza ends with "crazy hair!" and screams that closing statement at the top of his lungs. He thinks it is really neat that all of this stuff lives in this guy's hair. When the girl gets sucked into the guy's hair he thinks it is hilarious and he has memorized all of the neat things she does "dancing in his crazy hair!"
He also finds the abstract artwork fascinating and will spend (well not hours) but minutes at a time (that's a lot for a toddler) just staring at them and pointing out the things he sees.
In summary I was very pleased with this book and so was my 2 1/2 year old son. We read it every night. It is a great story with wonderful artwork. It made me anxious to get some of Gaiman and McKean's other children's books. This is a book that I will keep forever; it definitely gets a spot on my keeper shelf. I would strongly recommend this book for all ages.
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I highly recommend this book to anyone who really appreciates the art of typography, design in general and to anyone who just wants to be taken on a wacky adventure.
I don't however, believe that it is suitable for all children as the facial designs tend to be a little bit on the creepy side. I LOVE CREEPY, but I'm not so sure my 2-yr old niece would. I could be completely wrong, but I urge you to look at the pictures of the people and character designs prior to purchasing it for a child who is a little bit on the sensitive, shy side.
just my opinion. thanks for reading. :)