Friday, July 12, 2019

Review - Crazy Hair

Crazy Hair
by Neil Gaiman
illustrated by Dave McKean
Date: 2009
Publisher: HarperCollins
Reading level: C
Book type: picture book
Pages: 40
Format: hardcover
Source: library

Crazy Hair is a fantastically fun tale written by New York Times bestselling author Neil Gaiman and illustrated by the astoundingly talented Dave McKean, the award-winning team behind The Wolves in the Walls.

In Crazy Hair, Bonnie makes a friend who has hair so wild there's even a jungle inside of it! Bonnie ventures through the crazy hair, but she may need more than a comb to tame her friend's insane mane.

(synopsis from Goodreads)

I laughed out loud as I was reading this book at the sheer WTF-ery of it all. What is this?

At first glance, I was reminded of the film MirrorMask, which makes sense since McKean directed it. The illustration style here is... well, different. I'm not sure how appealing it will be to children (especially young children); this almost seems like a picture book that was written for adults.

In rhyming text, we're told the story of Bonnie and her new friend with such crazy hair that it basically has its own ecosystem. The text is pretty much nonsense (although the meter is decent) and the story is absolutely ludicrous.

I think this book is going to find its fans through the illustrations. You'll either love them or hate them (or want to seek therapy after seeing some of them). The hair itself is photorealistic in many of the illustrations. My skin started to crawl about halfway through the book, and I pretty much shuddered when we were treated to an extreme close-up of the strands. There are some creepy eyeballs floating about, carousel horses that look like they jumped out of a nightmare, and figures so stylized that they almost look like drug-fuelled hallucinations. However, there are some interesting touches as well, such as Bonnie's changing t-shirt, the bear, and the use of colour.

I'm not even sure how to rate this. For me, it's a memorable book... though not for entirely positive reasons. I'm sure there are people who love this kind of book (the high rating on Goodreads is proof of this), but I personally don't. I'm not even sure I like it. It's just a little too weird for me.

Premise: 3/5
Meter: 4/5
Writing: 3/5
Illustrations: 3/5
Originality: 5/5

Enjoyment: 3/5

Overall: 3.43 out of 5

No comments:

Post a Comment