cover image Wig!


Laura Levine, B-52's, Nmusical Groupp B-52's. Hyperion Books, $14.95 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-7868-0079-7

A younger generation gets a hair-raising helping of classic kitsch, courtesy of the B-52's. Adapted from a song on the group's 1986 album Bouncing off the Satellites, the book celebrates hairy headgear as men, women and children alike cover their pates with tall wigs, curly wigs, flowered wigs and indescribably weird wigs. There is no plot, just fanciful impressions of lyrics like ``Carol's fall fell/ Bubba's got a big bouffant on.'' Outlandishly coiffed characters stroll past a theater marquee advertising Hair (``Next week: The Braid-y Bunch''); a green-tressed fellow puns, ``Fred bought his hairpiece at the thrift store-you know why? Because he didn't want TO PAY'' (those who miss the joke are clued in by a ``Toupee Special'' sign). The authors have rearranged the song's verses, interrupting the original rhythm, but only ardent bouncing-ball followers will object. In debut illustrator Levine's cartoonish acrylic paintings, strong diagonal lines and undiluted colors convey a buoyant, extroverted spirit; varying typefaces and creatively placed text increase the eye-boggling effect. This volume could easily prompt a dress-up session-or even a trip to what the B-52's call ``the neon side of town.'' All ages. (Sept.)