'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Thursday 3 August 2023

Review: When Dad's Hair Took Off

This early to middle-grade chapter book is an absolute corker.

Translated from master children’s author and illustrator Jorg Muhle’s native German, both its punny, funny words and full colour illustrations are perfect. The words have been cleverly adapted for an Australian audience (complete with hair jokes and wordplay!).

Dad poses in front of the bathroom mirror, brush in hand, celebrating his luxurious and rather elegant mop of hair when all of a sudden – it up and leaves! Yes! In an instant that hair of his jumps straight off his head and into all the recesses of his bathroom.

Before you could say ‘hairsta-la-vista, baby,’ it was gone!

Then Mum appears at the bathroom door, sporting her bounteous and impressively thick, scribbly hairdo. She’s been attracted by Dad’s yelps of surprise and a lot of mysterious banging and crashing, and has popped her head in to see what’s going on. And so of course, Dad’s hair seizes the opportunity to escape into the garden.

And it begins!

This delightful romp of a book, follows an army of Dad-hairs (what IS the collective noun for gazillions of hairs wafting around?) as they go on adventures.  Dad sees his hair everywhere – or so he thinks. On the road, in the front yard, at the zoo. Everything looks just like his precious, wayward hair.

And while Dad gives chase with an ineffective butterfly net, we the reader bask in the wonderful visual fun and puns that are the hallmarks of this very comical, totally silly and utterly captivating story. I particularly love Dad creeping up oh-so-quietly on his naughty hair as it rests for a moment in the grass. Or IS it grass? 

Perfect for reading out loud and with full-sized, full-colour, intricate illustrations to pore and ponder over, this absurd and absurdly funny book is a gem.

I simply couldn’t stop myself from tracing my finger over the page to follow the hair trail as it moved in and out of buildings, through a water fountain and underground.

Just superb.

Title: When Dad’s Hair Took Off
Author/Illustrator: Jorg Muhle
Publisher: Gecko Press, $19.99
Publication Date: June 2023
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 9781776575213
For ages: 5 - 9
Type: Junior Fiction