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The Girl Who Wouldn't Brush Her Hair

The Girl Who Wouldn't Brush Her Hair

4.4 5
by Kate Bernheimer

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This hilarious, over-the-top story is perfect for any little girl who doesn't like to brush her hair.

What happens when our heroine neglects her long tresses? Well, one day a mouse comes to live in a particularly tangled lock. Soon after, more mice move in, and the girl's unruly mop is transformed into a marvelous mouse palace complete with secret


This hilarious, over-the-top story is perfect for any little girl who doesn't like to brush her hair.

What happens when our heroine neglects her long tresses? Well, one day a mouse comes to live in a particularly tangled lock. Soon after, more mice move in, and the girl's unruly mop is transformed into a marvelous mouse palace complete with secret passageways and a cheese cellar! But as the girl comes to find out, living with more than a hundred mice atop your head isn't always easy. . . .

"This tale will send kids the message that they must take care of their tresses."Booklist 

"There are parents who will weep with joy at the prospect of a book that may encourage little Susie or Sam to finally brush that mane."The Bulletin 

From the Hardcover edition.

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
"There once was a girl who wouldn't brush her hair." As she repeatedly explains, "It's just my way." Every night she washes her hair, lets it down from the turban it is wrapped in, and with her hairless doll Baby, she dreams. One night she discovers that a mouse has moved into her tangled hair. Not upset, she lets it be. Soon many other mice join it. Her mother refuses to feed the mice, so the girl has to share her food and gets very hungry. The mice have also insisted on no baths, so she soon begins to smell. And they keep her awake with their chatter. Finally her teacher tells her she cannot bring her favorite Baby to school while she has all those mice. The mice understand, pack up their suitcases, and leave. The girl can finally wash and brush her hair and put it into braids that she can admire. Meanwhile, the mice have moved on...Parker creates single and double page naturalistic settings in pencil and digitally added color for the action, emphasizing the comic behavior of the mice and the reactions of the appealing heroine. She has doll-like features and the overly large head needed to support all that hair and the friendly mice. Mice also scamper across the mouse-decorated end pages. Reviewer: Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2—A nameless heroine refuses to brush her bear-brown hair after her nightly bath. When the grown-ups, who hover at the edges of the story, object, she says, "It's just my way." A mouse nests in her tangled curls, but she is unafraid. Rather, she welcomes scores of other mice, enjoying the company of her companions who tell knock-knock jokes and are kind to her favorite doll, Baby. Soon, the girl discovers some drawbacks to her unusual situation. She must share her food with the mice, they refuse to go in the bath, and they keep her awake all night. The hungry, dirty, and exhausted little girl does not know what to do until her teacher tells her that she can't bring Baby to school because she already has too many naptime friends with her. The child gently explains to the mice that it is time for them to go. That night, she washes and brushes her locks and finally gets a good night's sleep. On the playground, a couple of mice scout for a new home in the pigtails of another little girl. It is "just their way." The digitally colored illustrations focus on the girl, showing her in her comfortable home or her cheerful schoolroom. Her luminous face expressively portrays her emotional journey throughout the fanciful fable. For a more straightforward treatment that also addresses the resulting struggle between mother and daughter, try Lee Fox's delightful Ella Kazoo Will Not Brush Her Hair (Walker, 2010).—Linda L. Walkins, Saint Joseph Preparatory High School, Boston, MA
Kirkus Reviews
When an imaginative, stubborn little girl refuses to brush her hair, strange consequences ensue. The unnamed girl has beautiful, long wavy hair and prefers it tangled and wild. To her parents, she repeatedly states, "It's just my way." Soon, one mouse, then a second, and then more and more take up residence in the mess that is her hair. They tell her jokes, she shares her lunch with them, and they turn her hair into a mouse palace. All of these activities are shared by her doll, Baby, her constant companion. While she mostly enjoys the situation, she finally begins to understand that things have gotten out of control. The mice have convinced her to stop bathing because they can't swim, resulting in offensive odors and loss of friends at school. Bernheimer employs a chatty narration that directly engages her audience. The tale is structured on a base of "what ifs…," building upon absurdities that include parents who are barely there and amazingly tolerant while maintaining a sense of reality that allows young readers to believe, just a little, that it could happen. And of course, there's a satisfying and reassuring conclusion. Parker's digitally colored pencil illustrations complement the spirit of fun and fantasy, depicting a seemingly normal setting with the addition of some delightfully goofy details. Imaginative fun for all. (Picture book. 4-8)

Product Details

RH Childrens Books
Publication date:
Sold by:
Random House
File size:
29 MB
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Age Range:
4 - 8 Years

Meet the Author

KATE BERNHEIMER is the author of the picture books The Girl in the Castle Inside the Museum, a Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year, and The Lonely Book. A fairy-tale expert, she is also the author and editor of many books for adults, including the story collections Horse, Flower, Bird and My Mother She Killed Me, My Father He Ate Me: Forty New Fairy Tales, a World Fantasy Award winner.

JAKE PARKER is the illustrator of the New York Times bestselling picture book The Astonishing Secret of Awesome Man by Michael Chabon. He is also the creator of the Missile Mouse graphic novel series. He has worked creating sets and environments for feature films like Horton Hears a Who, Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs, and Rio.  

From the Hardcover edition.

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The Girl Who Wouldn't Brush Her Hair 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
Mallary More than 1 year ago
This is a cute story with illustrations that only add to its depth. It teaches children not only the obvious personal hygiene, but also about being loyal and having true friends. 
Mamma_Librarian More than 1 year ago
My daughter doesn't like to wash or brush her hair and this was a good way to convince her that she has to! 
Storywraps More than 1 year ago
I loved this book.  The digitally coloured illustrations were perfect and brought the storyline to life.  All the details in each picture were just delightful to peruse.  A little girl with beautiful, long hair  refuses to brush it because she says, "It's just her way."  Her hair gets matted and tangled and a mouse decides it is the perfect spot for nesting and perhaps a perfect spot for a permanent home.  Word gets out that there is a mouse in hair-residence, so the other mice decide to try their luck to see if there is "room for one more."  The final count of the squatters is one hundred.  One hundred pesky rodents who tell her knock-knock jokes, set up a film projector to watch movies and even concoct a cheese cellar.  These little inhabitants become unruly and bossy, even demanding she cease from bathing because they cannot swim.  The little girl finds because of her unkempt and unsanitary state her friends at school and even her parents step away from her. Finally she makes the big decision that she wants her old, hygienic life back, washes her mice-infested hair and gives herself a good scrub in the tub to regain her fastidiousness and her sanity.  What will happen to her mice tenants?  Will they find a place to reside other than her long, silky locks?  Does the story have a "and they all lived happily ever after ending?" I suggest you get a copy and find out the demise of the annoying, furry little critters. The book is a fun read and kids will love the plot and especially the visuals. Who wouldn't want your own animated mousecapades scurrying around in your hair, something that can add some excitement to your boring life?  I wouldn't that's who...makes my head crawl and itch just to think about it.  But it makes a perfect tale to spin to children and they will love it. 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is great because it teachs kids to brush their hair. My two little girls brush their hair every day now. High recomend
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great to tell kids to brush thier hair becuase if they dont they could get mice ir other nasty creaters in their hair i know everyone dose nit want creaters in their hair.