cover image Ella Kazoo Will Not Brush Her Hair!

Ella Kazoo Will Not Brush Her Hair!

Lee Fox, , illus. by Jennifer Plecas. . Walker, $15.99 (40pp) ISBN 978-0-8027-8836-8

Ella is a rebel with a single cause: “She puts on a dress with some earrings and pearls,/ and lipstick and perfume like most other girls,/ but Ella Kazoo will not brush her curls!” A frazzled appearance is the least of Ella's problems, however: as her locks grow, they become an enormous, ivy-like tangle that envelops everything in its wake. Overall, Plecas's (Baby Danced the Polka ) drawings feel a little too winsome for debut author Fox's bouncy rhymes—the pictures seem to slow the beat down rather than give it momentum. But the illustrator gets good comic mileage out of turning Ella's hair into a force of nature, and, while taking a bath, Ella seems to channel John Everett Millais's Ophelia . Ella's hair, at this point, stretches down a stairwell and across a room, entangling household objects, as well as her mother. To end the madness, Ella finally demands a close-cropped haircut with a single curl—a choice that may please beleaguered mothers in the same position as Ella's mom, but also one with which few young female readers are likely to identify. Ages 3–6. (Jan.)