Shannon offers young head lice victims and the grownups who love them a much-needed source of levity and empathy. His itchy redheaded hero can’t help imagining the worst—which is right up Shannon’s alley (his always expressive hand-lettering is deployed to especially good effect). What if the boy becomes a social pariah? What if his condition requires a scorched scalp policy? What if the “lice-a-palooza” in his hair (which looks more like a hootenanny than a rock festival) takes over the entire house? Shannon wisely allows these anxieties to vent, then calmly defuses them with epiphanies (“I found out a bunch of kids had them!”) and informative asides (“Relax. Dogs don’t get head lice”). He also underscores the idea that every lice-ridden kid has a secret weapon: mom (the book is dedicated to “moms everywhere and their battled-tested anti-lice weapons”). By book’s end, the lice have been whittled down from satanic scourge to manageable pain, and readers will come away reassured that it will take a lot more than a bunch of bug-eyed, multilegged “Little Nasties” to sink their families. Ages 4–8. (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 07/01/2013 Release date: 08/27/2013 Genre: Children's
During the Covid-19 crisis, Publishers Weekly is providing free digital access to our magazine, archive, and website. To receive the access to the latest issue delivered to your inbox free each week, enter your email below.