By David Shannon
Tackles: Head Lice. Yuck.
Age Range: 4-8 years
Genre: Picture Book
This book is the story of a little boy who comes home from school one day to deliver his mother the worst possible news – he had BUGS in his HAIR! It discusses the ways lice are passed around, DIY cures, and the shame that a child (or adult!) with lice can feel.
Lice are extremely common in young children and difficult to get rid of, making them a parents worst nightmare. Because it is such a taboo topic, parents often struggle to explain what lice are, how children get them, the high recurrence rate and the stigma surrounding lice. It is important for kids to understand the logistics like what they are and how they are transferred to try and avoid contracting them, but it is also crucial that we guide children through experiencing what comes along with the actual bugs- the embarrassment, shame, assumptions, denial and all around skeeve that comes with sharing your hair with lice.
This book discusses all of the topics I mentioned previously and uses colorful and bold illustrations of lice to make them seem simultaneously grosser and sillier than they actually are. This book also includes little fun facts as you read, such as the fact that lice eggs are called “nits.” The book itself is more story based, so including these facts added more to educational nature of this book.
While I think there was definitely more room for facts and explanations, I believe the story format was the appropriate choice for this book and using a relatable main character to explain the ins and outs of lice was more effective than overwhelming with straight facts. This book starts the conversation around a traditionally uncomfortable topic in a fun and colorful way and is a good read for interesting louse facts no matter your age. I definitely recommend this book as a fun way to educate and begin normalizing a taboo topic.
8 out of 10 nits
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2 thoughts on “book review: Bugs In my hair!”
I enjoyed reading this discussion on this book! I’ll check it out from the links! Thanks!
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I agree with M. E. above! This website has added to the larger discussion on children’s literature, and even censorship. Some of these books are discussing tough topics, but it’s all to prepare our kiddos!
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