The hair of Zoe Fleefenbacher goes to school

Laurie Halse Anderson

Book - 2009

A young girl's talented but untamed tresses do not impress her strict first-grade teacher, who has rules for everything, including hair.

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Subjects
Genres
Picture books
Published
New York : Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers c2009.
Edition
1st ed
Language
English
Physical Description
unpaged : col. ill. ; 30 cm
ISBN
9780689858093
0689858094
Main Author
Laurie Halse Anderson (-)
Other Authors
Ard Hoyt (illustrator)
Review by Booklist Reviews

This one instantly grabs you—the opening two-page spread overflows with Zoe's wild red hair, with its many tendrils that brush her teeth, grab her clothes, and pack her lunch. Then Anderson takes a step back for a history lesson: Zoe's hair learned to open the cookie jar at age two and could fly by age four. Her kindergarten class loved it for furry snuggling at nap time . . . but then came first grade and Ms. Trisk. "School has rules," she snaps as she disciplines Zoe, who frowns in despair as her hair continues to misbehave, even transforming into a hair-dragon to chase the teacher away. Hoyt's wacky depiction of the hair's every Seussian undulation is flecked with jokey details (there's an ongoing visual gag about some hamsters that have apparently taken up residence inside). The ending, in which Zoe's hair proves itself worthy of helping Ms. Trisk with school lessons, is a tad awkward, but this should find fans with anyone who's ever threatened their mop with a barrette or scrunchie. Copyright 2009 Booklist Reviews.

Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews

Rapunzel has nothing on young Zoe, whose flowing red tresses are not only her crowning glory but can also "turn on the TV, pour a glass of juice, pet the cat, and play on the computer—all at the same time." But while Zoe's kindergarten teacher embraced the fact that the hair had a life all its own ("at nap time, the hair was a comfort"), first grade brings the stern Ms. Trisk, who is decidedly unamused. Anderson (Independent Dames) and Hoyt (Utterly Otterly Day) are comically sympathetic to the ways in which an unfortunate class placement can turn a school-age child's world upside down. But not to worry—by story's end, everyone's having a good hair day. Ages 6–10. (June) [Page 58]. Copyright 2009 Reed Business Information.

Review by School Library Journal Reviews

K-Gr 2—Zoe has a glorious bright red mane. In fact, her "wild and beautiful" hair seems to have a mind of its own, performing various tasks (it can "turn on the TV, pour a glass of juice, pet the cat, and play the computer—all at the same time") and even allowing her to fly. While this isn't a problem in kindergarten, things change in first grade. Ms. Trisk bluntly states, "School has rules…. No wild hair in my class!" She tries to rein in Zoe's unruly tresses with disciplinary measures, a stretchy hat, and even a meeting with the principal. Finally, Zoe's locks are contained with scrunchies, barrettes, bobby pins, and duct tape, an arrangement that also weighs down the girl's spirits. However, when Zoe's locks break free to lend a hand with a demonstration about orbiting planets, it's Ms. Trisk who learns a lesson. Anderson's narrative sparkles with exuberant language and exaggerated humor. Hoyt's buoyant cartoons, done in pen and ink and watercolors, are filled with flowing lines and comical touches. While the plot specifics are a bit far-fetched, the tale touches upon pertinent themes, such as the challenges of transitioning between kindergarten and first grade, the importance of looking for solutions to problems, and the fact that teachers often learn from their students. An imaginative and appealing back-to-school choice.—Joy Fleishhacker, School Library Journal [Page 68]. Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

Attending first grade and eager to follow the rules, Zoe Fleefenbacher does all she can to keep her unruly, long red hair under control by using tons of barrettes, clips, and elastics, but when a science lesson goes wrong and her hair is needed to save the day, Zoe is more than happy to set her wild locks free.

Review by Publisher Summary 2

A young girl's talented but untamed tresses do not impress her strict first-grade teacher, who has rules for everything, including hair.

Review by Publisher Summary 3

Zoe Fleefenbacher has one blue eye and one green eye and bright red hair that goes on . . . forever. Her hair has always been unruly, but now she is in first grade and according to her teacher, Ms. Trisk, “first grade has rules.” It takes countless barrettes and scrunchies to finally hold Zoe’s hair. But when it can help with an uncooperative science lesson, will Ms. Trisk let Zoe’s hair free? Acclaimed author Laurie Halse Anderson and vibrant illustrator Ard Hoyt style a hair-raising story that is sure to be a ‘do!

Review by Publisher Summary 4

Zoe Fleefenbacher has one blue eye and one green eye and bright red hair that goes on . . . forever. Her hair has always been unruly, but now she is in first grade and according to her teacher, Ms. Trisk, 'first grade has rules.' It takes countless barrettes and scrunchies to finally hold Zoe's hair. But when it can help with an uncooperative science lesson, will Ms. Trisk let Zoe's hair free? Acclaimed author Laurie Halse Anderson and vibrant illustrator Ard Hoyt style a hair-raising story that is sure to be a 'do!