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"WHAT DO YOU MEAN I HAVE BUGS IN MY HAIR?!" blurts Ellie when her mother and the school nurse give her the bad news: Ellie has head lice. "These things happen," says Ellie's mother. At home,
"WHAT DO YOU MEAN I HAVE BUGS IN MY HAIR?!" blurts Ellie when her mother and the school nurse give her the bad news: Ellie has head lice. "These things happen," says Ellie's mother. At home, Ellie and her mother talk to the doctor and read the papers from the school nurse. Then they shampoo, comb, and do laundry. Ellie even writes a note for kids who get head lice-"These things happen," it says.
The author includes a note for concerned parents. Catherine Stier's light look at this all-too-common problem is sure to strike the right note with stressed-out kids and families. She lives in Illinois. Tammie Lyon's humorous paintings complete this reassuring tale. She lives in Ohio.
K-Gr 3- When a visit to the school nurse confirms that lice have invaded the pretty hair of "Absolutely Perfect" Ellie, the third grader is horrified-this type of thing doesn't happen to her, she reasons. Ellie and her mom head home to treat the problem, but during the long process Ellie gets so bored that she begins to read the paperwork the nurse gave them. Armed with the not-so-scary facts, she drafts a letter for other kids to reassure them that lice can happen to anyone, and that they are relatively easy to get rid of. When Ellie goes back to school, the nurse loves the letter and distributes copies of it. Stier has taken a difficult topic and turned it into a charming story that demystifies the fears and false information surrounding lice infestation. The writing is stylized yet not overdone and comes across simply without sounding didactic. Cartoon illustrations capture Ellie's emotions as she goes from feeling grossed out to upset, sullen, and, finally, elated to be free of the bugs. The letter is presented at the end of the book; it is hand-printed on sheets of notebook paper and illustrated, adding to the lighthearted approach to a topic that causes many children-and their parents-angst.-Lisa Gangemi Kropp, Middle Country Public Library, Centereach, NY