cover image Katy's First Haircut

Katy's First Haircut

Gibbs Davis, Kathryn Gibbs Davis. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH), $12.95 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-395-38942-3

Davis's fluent story and Shute's crayon-bright illustrations effectively convey the magnitude of a choice that children understand well. Katy's proud that her hair is longer than anyone's in her class. It makes her special but it causes trouble too. The braids get caught in her desk; they blow in people's food, etc. Finally, Katy goes with her mother to the hairdresser; she's still ambivalent, but brave. When she sees her clipped tresses, though, Katy is devastated. Her parents insist the short curls are terrific but she won't listen. At school the next day, Katy wears a hat. Her secret is out, however, when the hat falls off. Everyone is excited and congratulatory when they see the smart coiffure, thanks to a wise, empathetic teacher. He says, ""It takes courage to make a big decision and go through with it.'' (48)