There’s something about Mary’s Hair

Mary's Hair Eoin Colfer comic childrens bookThere’s something about Mary’s Hair…that makes kids laugh. And, when I say laugh, I mean rolling with laughter and tears in their eyes. I was actually quite taken aback by the raucous reaction to this comic children’s novel by Eoin Colfer. Simply because I had never seen my children giggle so much throughout a story before.

Even days later they were recounting episodes from Mary’s Hair to me or each other….and laughing as they repeated the scenarios.

“It would be no surprise if I woke up one spring morning to find a family of swallows nesting in my bushy hair.”

mary cutting her hairMary hates her uncontrollable hair. So she takes matters into her own hands and cuts it. Covered in gel and goop, she’s so pleased with the results that she thinks she should open a hair salon. The fringe (bangs) are a bit wonky but she reckons if she walks around a bit lop sided no one will notice. A group of friends are speechless when they see her, but then they allow her to play with Rollerblade Barbie.

“…my curls looked like a million horns.”

Soon disaster looms when the gel hardens and her hair stands on end. She promises her mother – Mam – never to cut it again. Does she learn her lesson? No. Now she wants to dye it blonde. Mary then needs to find a volunteer to test the dye on first. The girls run away at the suggestion. Perhaps the unpopular boy with a constantly running nose, Noely Rochford, who lives nearby? Or, perhaps his dog?

“He looked like two dogs stuck together.”

I was prepared to give a speech along the lines of “Don’t try this at home!” but I needn’t have worried. Part of the reason my kids thought Mary’s Hair was so hilarious is that her hair escapades were over the top. They thought it was preposterous but terribly funny that the dog ended up half white and half brown after her experiment with the dye in the loo (toilet).

This comic kid’s book also teaches lessons about friendship. Mary might have been trying to ‘fit in’ and be popular with the girls, but she discovers a friend in Noely despite her treatment of him.

Mary’s Hair is written by Irish children’s author Eoin Colfer, famous for his bestselling Artemis Fowl series.

The pen and ink illustrations are by Brit Richard Watson. The numerous drawings are cleverly spread through the novella to the extent that my kids were keen on me reading as fast as I could at times so they could reach the next set of illustrations depicting Mary’s latest fiasco.

Children’s activity in Mary’s Hair – add comic hair!

childrens book activity marys hairThe front and back covers have flaps that open with a ‘spot the difference drawings’ in the former and ‘draw Mary and her hair’ in the latter.

marys hair drawing with added hairMy two followed the step-by-step instructions on how to draw Mary and then glued in their versions of her hair.

marys hair childrens drawing

And, just in case you’re wondering, the first drawing and hair extensions were created by my daughter. She wanted Mary to have long hair. My son decided that Mary needed spiky blue hair.

theres something about marys hairMary’s Hair is available on US Amazon and UK Amazon.

Mary’s Hair would also be a perfect book for any struggling or reluctant reader. It’s full of one funny scene after another which would make any young reader unwilling to put the book down. The book is for 5 to 8s with a reading age level of 6.

I’ve written before about The Castle in the Field by Michael Morpurgo and The Snake Who Came to Stay by Julia Donaldson which are also part of the Little Gems series by Barrington Stoke. Barrington Stoke specializes in books for reluctant, struggling and dyslexic readers. As you can see, internationally respected top children’s authors write books especially for this independent publisher aimed at this target young audience.

Just one last warning about Mary’s Hair – don’t read this comic children’s novel at bedtime! My children insisted I finish reading the book to them in one sitting and, for the next hour, despite lights out, all I could hear was non-stop giggling from their room.

Disclosure: I received a copy of Mary’s Hair by Eoin Colfer from Barrington Stoke for an honest review – all opinions expressed are my own.

15 thoughts on “There’s something about Mary’s Hair”

  1. Pingback: Press Round Up | Barrington Stoke

  2. I just met Eoin Colfer at the Mega Awesome event and he’s SO FUNNY! I can’t wait to read his newest picture book! I didn’t realize he wrote picture books! Thanks so much for including your great post at the Kid Lit Blog Hop!! Sharing this on Twitter and Pinterest!

    1. Thanks Mia – how wonderful to have met Eoin Coifer! There’s a lot of pictures in this book to help reluctant readers but it’s a great read for all kids.

  3. This looks absolutely HILARIOUS. There’s something so relatable about a character with uncontrollable hair (I’ve definitely been there!). I’m going to add this one to my list of must-haves!
    Thanks for sharing with the Kid Lit Blog Hop (and thanks for the warning about bedtime)!

  4. I was just thinking the other day, what is the name of that book by that Artemis Fowl writer about all the hair, YES, that’s it, I want to get this book so badly, now you have sealed it for me, I must have it….. Thanks so much for reminding me about it and for joining us on the Kid Lit Blog Hop

  5. Stopping by from the blog hop to say hello. This book sounds really interesting and the little Mary at the end that the kids drawl on the hair is precious

  6. This sounds like a fun story. There are some chapter books that you can’t read at bedtime as it’s so hard to stop reading!

    Hopping over from the kid lit blog hop 🙂

  7. I love all the Barrington Stoke books you review and this one sounds just as fantastic. Eoin Colfer is one of my favourite authors so I will definitely be getting this and putting it away until my title one is ready. I love the hairstyles your kids came up with! Thank you so much for joining in with #kidsbookaweek

  8. We like a story that we can giggle to! I like the activities with it too. I shall look out for it 🙂 #kidsbookaweek

  9. Claire @ Great British Family Blog

    I love the sound of this book for older children. Books should be fun and this certainly sounds like it is.

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