2 out of 4 stars
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All over the city, people are showering. While they shower, some of their hair falls off and goes down the drain. What happens to all that hair? Hairables, written by Roxanne M. Walker, is a unique children’s book that answers that question. In this story, we meet the hairables, a group of creatures created from that very hair. Hairables come in all colors and styles. Their lives are about to change, as a drought has caused their home in the sewers to begin drying up. One day, they notice a tunnel that leads up to somewhere shining bright with light. Will the hairables be brave enough to leave their familiar home in search of something different, maybe even better?
When I read about the concept of creating characters out of lost hair, I thought the idea was creative and a little gross, which is a combination that kids love. Unfortunately, the plot of the book was lacking. There was no central conflict or plot arc, and the characters weren’t developed. The dialogue was also a bit dull. The book ended in a way that makes it clear this is going to be the first book in a series in which the hairables will have many adventures, but it would have been nice if the first book had gone beyond introducing the characters and setting the scene.
Hairables has full-page illustrations that show the different colors and styles of the hairables’ hair in detail. The pictures are colorful, and children will enjoy them. Based on the pictures, I assumed the book would have a focus on celebrating individuality and diversity. Unfortunately, I think the book missed an opportunity in this area. Although the different hairables commented on each other’s looks, their unique qualities weren’t expounded on in any way.
Because of the cute concept and illustrations, I rate this book 2 out of 4 stars. The lack of an exciting dialogue or storyline keeps me from rating it any higher. There were a few grammatical and punctuation errors that I noticed, but nothing was super distracting.
Based on the reading level, I believe that older elementary schoolers could read this independently, and parents could read the book to younger children. That said, I’m not sure the book as written would be entertaining enough to hold a child’s attention. I am interested to see the direction that future books will take. If they contain exciting adventures and send positive messages, I think this has the potential to be a great series for kids.
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