Damon Burnard, Author . Dutton $10.99 (45p) ISBN 978-0-525-46967-4

Burnard (The Amazing Adventures of Soupy Boy) dedicates this groaningly accurate story to "anyone who has ever had a bad haircut," and it's safe to say that readers will feel for the title character. Dave, whose thick black hair is out of control, does not have fond memories of his last cut. In a thought-balloon flashback, a hostile barber simultaneously curses at a televised ball game and chops away at Dave's hair. The next day at school, Dave's lopsided, center-parted 'do earns him insults from his nemesis (the dubiously named Micky Badazz), and an embarrassed hello from his secret crush. It's understandable that he rejects his mother's suggestion of another haircut ("You'll never take me alive!" he yells) and makes a last-ditch effort to clip the hair himself. Dave's likable mother doesn't get angry, and when his scissors run amok, she promises she can find a good coiffeur. Dave himself makes the decision to go to the barbershop, and the results meet with his classmates' unanimous approval: "Everyone rubbed Dave's head." Burnard subscribes to the anti-professional, do-it-yourself cartoon style of Dav Pilkey and James Proimos. His cheerful, dynamic line drawings, printed in black and blue ink on white, strike a balance between picture books and comics; energetic hand-lettering and emphatic word balloons add emotion to the conversations. A rogues' gallery of terrible haircuts, from a pompadour to a bowl cut, provide a window into Dave's active imagination and evoke sympathy for the hirsute hero. Ages 4-8. (July)

Reviewed on: 07/14/2003
Release date: 07/01/2003
Genre: Children's
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