What's Silly Hair Day with No Hair?
by Norene Paulson ill by Camila Carrosine
Young Bea has one characteristic which differentiates her from her classmates. She is bald. Within the circle of her family members and close friends, this is generally not a problem. However, no hair becomes an issue during the school-wide Spirit Week. Thursday is designated as Silly Hair day. How can someone without hair participate? Bea and her best friend consider several solutions including wearing a wig, crafting fake hair, even staying home from school. Sadly, nothing feels right. At the last possible moment, the two girls brainstorm and come up with a solution that is “absolutely right.”
Readers will cheer for Bea, a girl who has many interests, a wonderful best friend, and a desire to be fully engaged in the world around her. She is not a child to be pitied.
Carrosine's sweet illustrations show Bea with a slightly enlarged head which gives her baldness emphasis. Facial expressions eloquently convey Bea's wide range of emotions.
While the story addresses one specific physical condition, there are many ways that children may observe others who exhibit differences in physical appearance or other observable characteristics. Youngsters are encouraged to appreciate and accept all class members. They might plan creative ways to include all students in class activities.
What's Silly Hair Day with No Hair? can be the starting point for a rich discussion.
One of my joys is maintaining a collection of engaging books for young residents at our local Ronald McDonald House. Several of these children are receiving treatments which result in numerous side effects. In addition to hair loss, they may have suppressed immune systems, fatigue, nausea, and several other unpleasant conditions. Days and nights can be difficult.
Their indomitable spirits and ability to find happiness inspire me. My gratitude extends to the parents, medical personnel, and staff at the residence.
Photos are from the local Ronald McDonald House public Facebook page. Love these kids!