What's Silly Hair Day With No Hair? Book Review

What's Silly Hair Day With No Hair?
Written by Norene Paulson
Illustrated by Camila Carrossine
Published by Albert Whitman: March, 2021

Review
What's Silly Hair Day With No Hair? pretty much meets expectations, and that's not a bad thing. Bea's physical difference is the focus of the the book, but that's because it presents a very specific challenge for one day of school. Bea's alopecia is an unremarkable trait until "Silly Hair Day" during her school's Spirit Week. She and her best friend spend the whole week brainstorming a way for her to participate – ultimately they get the principal to change the day to "Silly Hair or Head Day" and Bea and her best friend both rock some temporary tattoos. Back matter informs readers about child hair loss.

The strength of What's Silly Hair Day With No Hair? is its unremarkable plot. Each child has to come up with a style for the daily theme of Spirit Week.  Bea's challenge is just a little more complex because she has no hair on her head to work with on Silly Hair Day. Bea is not exoticized or lauded or pitied. She's just a kid with a problem – any kid can identify. Paulson and Carrossine break with the problematic representations of physical differences to tell a story of friendship and creativity that happens to involve a character who has a noticeable difference. This is exactly the type of representation we need more of. Kids are kids are kids. What's Silly Hair Day With No Hair? is a good anytime book or can be read in connection with any number of foci (Spirit Week, friendship, hair loss...)

A little personal background on why this book is meaningful for me:
As a tween, one of my favorite books was The Man Who Loved Clowns because the main character's uncle was mentally disabled and this was the only book I came across with a mentally disabled character. Actually seeing the "special needs" population in literature meant so much to me as a "special sib" (a sibling to someone with special needs). Great strides are being made in children's lit nowadays, and I cheer on those authors and illustrators who keep pushing inclusivity. If we can't include diverse characters in our books, how can we open ourselves to relationships with people different from ourselves? 

Note: A review copy was provided for the purpose of an honest review. All thoughts are our own.

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