cover image Super Hair-o and the Barber of Doom

Super Hair-o and the Barber of Doom

John Rocco. Disney-Hyperion, $16.99 (32p) ISBN 978-1-4231-2189-3

“Write what you know,” goes the saying, and an author photo of a young Rocco with a big, unruly ’fro proves he knows from epic hair. The boy in this story, an enthusiastically comedic departure from Rocco’s Caldecott Honor–winning Blackout, is sure that his giant tangle of hair is—like Sampson—responsible for his “superpowers.” The boy’s powers basically amount to self-confidence, and Rocco shows him dressed in a lightning bolt T-shirt and cape, swinging upside down from a tire swing and launching himself from a homemade ramp on his bike, as three similarly shaggy “superfriends” cheer him on. After the boy’s father hauls him off to the “villain’s lair” (the barbershop), his entire world turns gray; worse still, his friends have also been shorn and stripped of their abilities. Halftone dots and star bursts contribute to the story’s comics-driven aesthetic as the boys get an opportunity to redeem themselves and find their inner hero. With a light, humorous touch, Rocco reveals that sometimes the Kryptonite is all in your head. Ages 4–9. Agent: Rob Weisbach, Rob Weisbach Creative Management. (May)