cover image Cowlick!


Christin Ditchfield, , illus. by Rosalind Beardshaw. . Random/Golden, $14.99 (40pp) ISBN 978-0-375-83540-7

Young bedhead sufferers, take heart! Ditchfield's picture-book debut imagines a playful explanation as to how children who go to bed with neat hair wake up with some wild 'dos in the morning. It's all because of a mysterious but kindly bovine nighttime visitor. Some readers may feel uneasy believing that they could be slurped by a cow while they sleep. But many adults—and kids—who've tried to tame the tufts of wild hair known by the titular term will likely find much to chuckle about here. Brief rhyming couplets set the scene as Beardshaw's (Grandma's Surprise ) cheery, close-perspective acrylic paintings depict the action. She seems to take particular glee in fashioning the sturdily wavy "once-flat hair now standing tall" on three brothers' heads. The cowlick on an additional (furry) member of the family—shown on the final spread—is not to be missed. Ages 2-5. (Jan.)