Sunday, June 12, 2011

Review: Big Bouffant by Kate Hosford; illustrated by Holly Clifton-Brown


Young Annabelle is distraught. There are so many boring, uniform hairstyles on the first day of school! With inspiration from her grandma and some help from her mom, Annabelle finds the perfect hairdo to help her stand out: a big bouffant. As the week unfolds, her gigantic hair brings giggles, admiration, and eventually... a whole classroom of copycats. This will not do. Annabelle must find a new way to be original. What will she concoct this time?


Published April 28th 2011 by Carolrhoda Books

The Elliott Review:

This fun story provides a positive message about being yourself. Annabelle finds a way to express her unique personality through her hairstyle. This determined little girl gets it in her head to have a bouffant, and she sticks with her wish despite everyone's efforts to get her to choose something more normal and run-of-the-mill. Even after she sets a new trend, she still wants to have a fresh, new wardrobe idea so that she's not just one of many. This also speaks to the importance that each child has as an individual, that they each want to feel special in some way.

The illustrations in this book are very well-done. The background scenery contains interesting textures and patterns to catch the eye, and the characters are drawn in a whimsical way that will entrance young readers. When Annabelle is creating her bouffant, there are so many fun and funny items to look point out and comment on.

Lesson Possibilities:

Birth to 4 years - Kids can be directed to explore the various colors and asked questions about the pictures. They will naturally catch the lyric, rhyming quality of the text and perhaps even quote it back later.

K-8th grade - Depending on the student's skill level, the book could be used to do a number of things. It could lead to a discussion about being yourself, accepting yourself and others, having courage to be yourself. It could be used to create a writing prompt about any of those topics, as well. Also, it could have a tie in with a how-to writing due to the fact that Annabelle creates her own hairstyle. Students could also write about a time they did something that other people didn't understand.

Source: Thanks to Tracey at Media Masters for providing a copy of this book for a fair review.

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