Oh, What a Tangle!

Anita Pouroulis, illus. by Monika Filipina Trzpil. Digital Leaf (Midpoint Trade, dist.), $9.99 paper (36p) ISBN 978-0-9573087-4-9
Horribly tangled hair is the bane of many a small child, but don’t count Kiki in that camp. She disregards her mother’s advice to brush her hair, finding other things to occupy her time: “Like drawing pictures on every right shoe,/ Or painting each toenail a different hue/ Or building a toppling tower of pans/ Or drawing designs on both of her hands.” In short order, Kiki’s once-silky brunette locks have transformed into a gnarled mass, perfect for carrying school supplies, growing herbs, and even cleaning out-of-reach windows. Trzpil’s characters have the prominent brows of a Brancusi sculpture, and she makes the most of each wild scenario: eventually, Kiki’s hair is more topiary than hairdo, and her mother is steaming from her ears. Writing in rhymes that are often forced, Pouroulis emphasizes Kiki as an unconventional, I’ll-do-it-my-way kind of girl, which makes the ending—with Mom using pruning shears to give Kiki a plain old bob—feel like a real loss. The invitation to “See Kiki’s other hairstyles” on an available app isn’t much compensation. Ages 3–8. (June)
Reviewed on: 04/29/2013
Release date: 06/01/2013
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