The Girl With The Bird's Nest Hair by Sarah Dyer

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The Girl With The Bird's Nest Hair by Sarah Dyer

Category: For Sharing
Rating: 4/5
Reviewer: Keith Dudhnath
Reviewed by Keith Dudhnath
Summary: A unique and quirky book about a girl who hates having her hair brushed, and the birds who nest in it. Sarah Dyer's illustrations are a joy to behold. Sarah Dyer was kind enough to be interviewed by Bookbag.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 32 Date: June 2009
Publisher: Bloomsbury
ISBN: 978-0747599982

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Hollie has long, curly hair. She hates it when her mum brushes it. She loves the scruffy, curly look. When a bird lands in her head, mum warns Hollie that if she doesn't do something about it more birds will make a nest in her hair. Hollie doesn't mind though - she loves greenfinches, jays, starlings and robins. Will she feel the same about turkey and peacocks?

The Girl With The Bird's Nest Hair is a delightful picture book. It'll strike a perfect chord with parents and children everywhere. Sometimes hair does need to be brushed, but sometimes scruffy's ok too. Sometimes it's fine to let birds nest in your hair (well, maybe) and sometimes you need to say enough is enough. It's not designed as a message book, but the message is there. There's something sweet and caring about Hollie wanting to provide a home for the birds, and there's something admirable about her mum letting her do it despite offering advice to the contrary.

The story is told through rhyme, but if you try to read it with a strong rhythm you'll do the book (and your young audience) a disservice. Treat the rhymes loosely and gently, read it delicately, and everything flows that much better. Treat it like Hollie's hair: don't try and make it straight and perfect, or it'll feel forced and unnatural. Read it slightly scruffily, let a few metaphorical birds nest in it, and it will work beautifully. (I'm overanalysing, I know).

Sarah Dyer's unique and quirky illustrations suit the story perfectly. They have an accessible look of a child's own drawings - although obviously with a lot more skill to them! The humans are bristling with life and emotion, whilst all the different birds are a joy to pore over. Including a glossary of the different types of birds was a great idea, which children will love, especially if they're starting to spot the difference between the ducks in the park, the blackbirds eating worms on the lawn, and the more elaborate birds they might see in trees.

The Girl With The Bird's Nest Hair is a fantastic book for any child on the cusp of reading, especially if they also hate having their hair brushed (and I know I do). Recommended.

My thanks to the publishers for sending it to Bookbag.

Where scruffiness is concerned, no-one can compete with Harry the Dirty Dog by Gene Zion. For a scruffy character who scrubs up nicely, check out Mr Pusskins - Best In Show by Sam Lloyd.

Bookinterviews.jpg Sarah Dyer was kind enough to be interviewed by Bookbag.

Buy The Girl With The Bird's Nest Hair by Sarah Dyer at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy The Girl With The Bird's Nest Hair by Sarah Dyer at Amazon.co.uk.


Buy The Girl With The Bird's Nest Hair by Sarah Dyer at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy The Girl With The Bird's Nest Hair by Sarah Dyer at Amazon.com.


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