"Mister, you've got crazy hair," Bonnie, a girl in a tank top, tells the narrator, whose dark hair twists and tangles across the spreads. (Are they strangers? Relatives? McKean's masklike faces make it hard to tell.) "In my hair/ Gorillas leap,/ Tigers stalk,/ And ground sloths sleep," the man tells her. Cockatoos, explorers, hot-air balloons, pirate ships and more-"These await/ The ones who dare/ Navigate my crazy hair." McKean blends line drawing, paint and closeup images of hair to convey the dizzying variety of life within the man's locks. Even the text participates in the mayhem: lines of type swirl, switch fonts, and swell and shrink for emphasis. When bossy Bonnie offers to tame the man's unruly mop with her comb, he warns, "Miss, just be aware/ This is really crazy hair," but it's too late; she meets a Roald Dahlesque end, hauled deep into a new world, "safe inside my crazy hair." While some may find the tale's intensity off-putting, fans of Gaiman and McKean's (The Wolves in the Walls) twisted humor will welcome this lighter-than-usual addition. Ages 4-8. (June)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
"In my hair
And ground sloths sleep.
Prides of lions
Make their lair
Somewhere in my crazy hair."
This award-winning duo delivers a new romp "through a labyrinth of hair." Bonnie, the intrepid young heroine, encounters an odd fellow with a masklike face and comments on his long, wavy locks. Affronted, he defends his do: "In my hair/Gorillas leap,/Tigers stalk,/And ground sloths sleep.... Hunters send in/Expeditions,/Radio back/Their positions/Still, we've lost/a dozen there/Lost inside my crazy hair ." McKean's computer-enhanced, mixed-media illustrations offer a wondrous interpretation of the outrageous objects enumerated by Gaiman: cockatoos are composed in feathery, neon strokes; transparent hot-air balloons expose intricate collage interiors; leaping dancers radiate color. Many of the scenes have a blurry, dreamlike quality, suggesting movement or a hint of foreboding. The hair varies in density from slender strands to massive jungles to tubular trunks, as under a microscope. The text for this surreal poem (at times a bit awkward) curves, spills, vibrates, and dangles, graphically signaling the mood and the message. Viewers will want to follow closely the design on Bonnie's T-shirt; its transformations offer emotional cues and are partially responsible for the scary/safe feeling readers have after she combs the hair and is pulled inside. This imaginative concoction fits perfectly with Deborah Nourse Lattimore's The Lady with the Ship on Her Head (Harcourt, 1990) to celebrate the potential of hair with a life of its own.-Wendy Lukehart, Washington DC Public Library
- HarperCollins Publishers
- Publication date:
- Product dimensions:
- 10.30(w) x 10.20(h) x 0.40(d)
- Age Range:
- 4 - 8 Years
Meet the Author
Neil Gaiman is the New York Times bestselling author of the novels Neverwhere, Stardust, American Gods, Coraline, Anansi Boys, The Graveyard Book, Good Omens (with Terry Pratchett), The Ocean at the End of the Lane, and The Truth Is a Cave in the Black Mountains; the Sandman series of graphic novels; and the story collections Smoke and Mirrors, Fragile Things, and Trigger Warning. He is the winner of numerous literary honors, including the Hugo, Bram Stoker, and World Fantasy awards, and the Newbery and Carnegie Medals. Originally from England, he now lives in the United States. He is Professor in the Arts at Bard College.
Dave McKean is best known for his work on Neil Gaiman's Sandman series of graphic novels and for his CD covers for musicians from Tori Amos to Alice Cooper. He also illustrated Neil Gaiman's picture books The Day I Swapped My Dad for Two Goldfish, The Wolves in the Walls, and Crazy Hair. He is a cult figure in the comic book world, and is also a photographer.
- Minneapolis, Minnesota
- Date of Birth:
- November 10, 1960
- Place of Birth:
- Portchester, England
- Attended Ardingly College Junior School, 1970-74, and Whitgift School, 1974-77
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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Crazy Hair is a children's picture book that sparked my interest after researching various goodreads choice awards nominations over the years. It is a light fantasy story about a man's hair and what goes on inside it. A girl thinks combing the man's hair will help but as she combs it, something from the man's hair grabs her and she is now added to all the adventures happening in the man's crazy hair. Neil Gaiman's writing style and Dave McKean's illustrations blow other picture books out of the water. I adore Neil Gaiman so maybe I'm just biased...
I bought this book for the kids at the childcare centre I work at and they adore it!! They always ask to read it. They are captivated by the surreal illustrations and love the rhymes. I found it was the biggest hit with the 3-5 year olds, though the 2-3 year olds love it too. If you have young children, you simply must get this book!! Emma x
I work for Barnes and Noble and I'm children's lead. I read this book for storytime and the kids loved it.It's very colorful and very different from other books. I highly recommend it.