cover image VERY HAIRY HARRY


Edward Koren, . . HarperCollins/Cotler, $15.99 (40pp) ISBN 978-0-06-050907-1

Cartoonist Koren (Behind the Wheel), a prolific contributor to the New Yorker, mounts a visual testimony to the value of a haircut (and to being oneself) in this amusing four-part cartoon. In the opening section, the titular protagonist, a furry, blue, abominable snowman–esque lad, stands in front of a barber shop, listening to the barber narrator: "Hey, Harry! I hear you want to be hairy." In part two, Koren depicts the advantages of hairiness. In one clever scene, Harry's fellow fuzzy friends hide in his voluminous coat while he covers his eyes: "Hairy means: You can play hide-and-seek without moving." The barber shifts gears in the third episode with a warning sign: "Being hairy, Harry, has its problems." One spread depicts Harry scratching ("Hairy means that you itch"), and the next three extend the concept to the extreme, both textually and visually, as Harry continues the itch in various postures and dance-like positions until he gets a haircut in part four. "Happier now, Harry?" says the barber when the fellow's trim makes him look just as he did at the book's beginning. Koren allows readers to laugh with the fuzzy protagonist, and to recognize themselves in this all-too-familiar and often dreaded situation. Ages 4-8. (Aug.)