The Hairdo That Got Away

Publisher: Andersen Press

A young boy enjoys his monthly trip to the barber with Dad. However, after one particular visit, his new haircut sparks an argument between his parents and Dad leaves. The boy is devastated and desperately waits for his father to come back, but the days turn into weeks, and then months.

Meanwhile, without regular visits to the barber, the boy’s hair grows wild. He becomes uncommunicative and disruptive as he struggles to deal with pain of his parents’ separation. Thankfully, Dad eventually returns and together, the reunited family visit the barber, who snips away their sadness along with their hair.

Gentle artwork in soft tones beautifully complements the sensitive text, and the expressive illustrations of the boy’s knotted hair provide a powerful visual metaphor for his tangle of emotions. This is a lovely picture book to share with young children to prompt discussion about how upsetting situations can provoke feelings which are difficult to manage and may lead to uncharacteristic behaviour.

The ending is upbeat and optimistic, although adults should be mindful when sharing the tale with children who may be in a similar situation, not to give false hope that all family break-ups are resolved so happily.

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