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Melissa Parkington's Beautiful, Beautiful Hair

Overview


Melissa wants to accomplish something speical, but what could it be? "Spectacular!" "Gorgeous!" "Fabulous!" Those are some of the words people use to describe Melissa Parkington's hair, which is long, thick, and so shiny that it seems to sparkle. But Melissa would like to be known for more than her hair. Melissa wants to do something spectacular. But everything she tries doesn't seem to work out. Then one day she discovers that she can do something special—with her hair. Pat Brisson's engaging and ...
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Overview


Melissa wants to accomplish something speical, but what could it be? "Spectacular!" "Gorgeous!" "Fabulous!" Those are some of the words people use to describe Melissa Parkington's hair, which is long, thick, and so shiny that it seems to sparkle. But Melissa would like to be known for more than her hair. Melissa wants to do something spectacular. But everything she tries doesn't seem to work out. Then one day she discovers that she can do something special—with her hair. Pat Brisson's engaging and thought-provoking story features lively illustrations by Suzanne Bloom.
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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
Melissa has "the most beautiful hair anyone had ever seen." Everywhere she goes, people exclaim about it. When she was younger, she liked this, but now she wants to be noticed for something more than just her hair, so she makes a list of possible ways to be spectacular. But even hard practice cannot help her set a record in basketball. And no matter how hard Melissa tries, little Maddie produces far better art. Then Melissa tries being helpful and kind and for weeks she forgets about her hair problem, until she sees a sign at Bernice's beauty salon asking for donations of hair for children who need wigs. Finally Melissa has found a way to be special for what she does. And her hair will still be beautiful, even for someone else. For this moral tale, Bloom's illustrations—done in gouache, colored pencil, and crayon—tell a vigorous visual tale of youthful engagement in life's opportunities. We see Melissa at times in vignettes displaying a dancer's grace as she sweeps an imagined floor or rakes a non-existent garden. Other double-page scenes show the details of her world and her involvement with others. Bloom's naturalism deals with the significance of the outstanding hair without overshadowing the charm of her appealing heroine. 2006, Boyds Mills Press, Ages 5 to 8.
—Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
School Library Journal
K-Gr 2-Melissa Parkington's hair is "long, thick, black, and so shiny it seemed to sparkle." Everyone admires it, and at bedtime, her father kisses her and says, "Good night, my Melissa of the Beautiful, Beautiful Hair." Melissa wants to be special-not just for her hair, but for accomplishing something "spectacular." She attempts to excel at basketball, art, and being nice to others but is still not satisfied. Then, while at the mall, she notices a sign in a beauty salon inviting people to donate their hair to kids who need wigs. Melissa knows this is the way to do something spectacular and gets her hair cut, smiling all the while. That evening, her father says, "Good night, my Melissa of the Beautiful, Beautiful Heart." This story is gently told through a well-written text and warm gouache, colored-pencil, and crayon illustrations. Melissa's locks glisten and shimmer throughout the pages. After they are shorn, her head feels "so light" that she wonders if it will "float away," expressing her happiness at finding a way to make a difference. Fluid lines and saturated hues depict a cast of diverse characters and colorful settings. This honest and deeply felt story should have a place in most collections.-Rebecca Sheridan, Easttown Library & Information Center, Berwyn, PA Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Melissa's long, thick, shiny black hair impresses everyone. However, Melissa would like to be noticed for something more special, even spectacular. She ponders and attempts several options without any real satisfaction. She practices setting a school record with her basketball foul shots and then tries to become a "good enough" artist for a museum. Next, she vows to become "the kindest person in the whole town" by helping mother clean, sharing cookies at lunch, cheering up a friend at recess, aiding another to study for a spelling test and sending a letter to a cousin with a broken leg. Finally, inspiration emerges from a sign at the mall's beauty salon requesting donations of hair for children's wigs. Confidently, Melissa enters the shop and performs one of the greatest acts of kindness for "a boy or girl whose own hair wouldn't grow." Brisson's clear and heartening story is balanced by Bloom's mixed-media, deeply colored gauche/pencil/crayon paintings depicting an assortment of scenes filled with multicultural children and a compassionate and benevolent young girl who has found her way to make a difference. (Picture book. 5-8)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781590784099
  • Publisher: Highlights Press
  • Publication date: 10/28/2006
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 459,217
  • Age range: 6 - 8 Years
  • Lexile: AD700L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 8.70 (w) x 11.10 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author


Pat Brisson has written a number of books for children, including Tap-Dance Fever, Hobbledy-Clop, Star Blanket, and Wand'a's Roses. She lives in Phillipsburg, New Jersey.

Suzanne Bloom is the author and illustrator of A Bus for Us, No Place for Pig, and We Keep a Pig in the Parlor. She lives in McDonough, New York.

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