Mary's Hair by Eoin Colfer

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Mary's Hair by Eoin Colfer

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Category: Dyslexia Friendly
Rating: 5/5
Reviewer: Margaret Young
Reviewed by Margaret Young
Summary: An absolutely brilliant story of a bad hair day which will have adults laughing as much as the children.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 96 Date: February 2013
Publisher: Barrington Stoke Ltd
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 978-1781122266

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Mary hates her hair. It has black bits and brown bits, curly bits and straight bits and Mary feels that it looks very much like a bush. Her Daddy says if you don't like something, you should change it (instead of whining about it to your parents when they want to relax with a cup of tea). Mary's Daddy, like many others, should watch what he says to children. Mary follows his advice with hilarious results. First she cuts her hair, but when that doesn't go to plan she decides to dye it. She has learned something from the whole hair cutting experience though, this time she plans to try the dye out on someone else first.

This book reminded me so much of my own childhood it had me laughing to the point of tears in my eyes. I very clearly remember my best friend and I cutting our own hair. Thankfully my mother had a sense of humour. My mate's mother did not. If your daughter has already tried hair cutting at home, this book will bring out the funny side of it all. If they haven't yet, and you wish to avoid this childhood right of passage, this book just might do the trick. Even boys will be certain to have a laugh at the author's wonderfully Irish sense of humour and the perfectly matching illustrations. My own son's favourite part involves a small dog and a toilet. There are plenty of laugh out loud moments throughout and a nice message about friendship as well.

Mary's Hair is part of an exciting new series from Barrington Stoke called Little Gems. Barrington Stoke started out quite small, created to fill need for real books for struggling readers. Patience Thomson, a former headmistress of a school for children with learning difficulties wanted to create books with real stories, that older children would want to read, and that dyslexic, struggling or reluctant readers could read. The result was truly ground breaking series of books with a high interest age level, but a low reading level, or hi-lo books. These books follow all of the guidelines of the British Dyslexia Association for dyslexia-friendly text.

Working with a team of experts in the field, Barrington Stoke have developed their own font which is especially designed to make reading as easy as possible for children with dyslexia. They also print all of their books on a thick, off white, non-glare paper to minimise distractions which can make reading more difficult. Although created as dyslexia friendly, this format makes reading easier for all children. My own son has often commented on how much easier it is to read these books, making reading into a truly enjoyable experience for young children. Little Gems books are also dyslexia friendly, but these are designed for a younger age group. This series is designed to support children taking their first steps to independent reading, whether they are dyslexic or not. The easy to read text, high quality illustrations and exceptionally high interest stories give these books a wide interest range, with a relatively low reading age. Little Gems have a reading of age 6. They are recommended for children from 5-8 with average reading abilities, and ages 7-10 for struggling readers. I would very strongly recommend these books to any child just beginning to read, but I also feel these make excellent read aloud books for younger children.My four year old enjoys these books as well, and with books like this one - I really enjoy reading them myself.

If this book appeals then we can also recommend:

Mr Birdsnest and the House Next Door by Julia Donaldson and Hannah Shaw

Half Moon Investigations by Eoin Colfer

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Buy Mary's Hair by Eoin Colfer at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Mary's Hair by Eoin Colfer at Amazon currently charges £2.99 for standard delivery for orders under £20, over which delivery is free.
Buy Mary's Hair by Eoin Colfer at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Mary's Hair by Eoin Colfer at


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