Big Wig: A Little History of Hair by Kathleen Krull, illlustrated by Peter Malone
I am a huge fan of Krull’s nonfiction books for children. Just as her earlier books, this one has a wry sense of humor and contains fascinating facts. Here the subject is the history of hairdos. Krull starts with prehistory in Africa and then travels forward until 2007 where the most expensive haircut in history is purchased for $16,300. In between, readers will learn about different trends in color, styles, lengths and curls. The book takes an already interesting topic and through details and facts makes it even more compelling.
Krull’s writing is skillful as always, bundling intriguing facts together into small stories that capture a moment in time. Her tone of wonder and interest makes for an inviting read, encouraging readers to be excited about the information as well. Make sure you head all the way to the end and read about the history of hair extensions too.
Malone’s illustrations are fine lined and work well to both depict historical figures and to place them in unique and hair-raising situations. He changes his style of illustration to match the time period and culture at times, such as the Japanese samurai warrior page. His colors are just as fine and carefully selected as his lines are.
No snarls in this book. In fact, it goes to great lengths to avoid tangles. One might say, this is a top-knot book. Appropriate for ages 7-10.
Reviewed from copy received from Arthur A. Levine Books.