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Crazy Hair Day (Junior Library Guild Selection) Hardcover – July 28, 2003
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Stanley Birdbaum's elementary school celebrates all sorts of madcap, made-up holidays from Pajama Day to Crazy Hair Day. Stanley is particularly excited about the latter, and one Friday, he and his mom have a wonderful time crafting his kooky coiffure. Using not one but two cans of Halloween hair spray (blue and orange) and plenty of rubber bands, the daring duo creates a masterpiece: "'This,' he said, 'is going to be a day I will never forget.'" That turns out to be true, but not for the reasons Stanley suspects. When he walks into class, all spiky and striped and ready to go, he hears his teacher reminding everyone that Crazy Hair Day is next Friday. Today, in fact, is School Picture Day. Stanley, now sick, runs to the bathroom and doesn't come out, even when his best friend Larry Finchfeather tries to persuade him.
Exiled, he eats his lunch, draws pictures, experiments with toilet flushing, and counts drops of water from a leaky faucet. He finally decides to risk more ridicule and get his picture taken with the class. Fortunately, it does prove to be a day Stanley will never forget, because his classmates surprise him by wearing silly, makeshift hats for the school picture that make him and his crazy hair feel right at home. Saltzberg's sweetly comical illustrations suit this engaging, eventually uplifting tale that shows how kids can be unforgettably cruel and unforgettably kind...all in the same day! (Ages 5 and older) --Karin Snelson
From School Library Journal
Kindergarten-Grade 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
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