In Jonathan Eig’s lighthearted early reader Some Pigtails, a clever girl learns to speak up for herself and negotiate.
In this charming story, eight-and-a-half-year-old Lola’s grandpa may be often grumpy, but Lola still cajoles him into being her hairdresser on school mornings. Best of all, Grandpa Ed is an artist, so he creates exciting pigtails and ponytails––a new design each day. Lola’s friends are impressed by her hairdos, and so is Lola’s teacher, the wonderful Mrs. Gunderson. However, when Grandpa Ed affixes a bicycle light in Lola’s hair, Mrs. Gunderson admits that it’s a bit distracting. She sends a letter home; Grandpa Ed responds with a drawing, and a correspondence begins between them.
Other students begin wearing crazy hair designs, too, until the principal, Mr. Murch, decides that the trend has become too much. He makes a rule that hairstyles must fit the dress code and sends a letter saying so to every parent. Lola is dismayed; she thinks that it is unfair to forbid individual expressions via hairstyles, especially since the students already have to wear uniforms.
Lola hopes to change the principal’s mind. With Grandpa Ed’s support, she visits Mr. Murch and states her case. Her interaction with the principal is respectful but creative. Still, Mr. Murch does not change the rule. Lola perseveres, though, with the belief that her fellow students need some way to express their individuality, even where the principal only sees disruptions. Eventually, a compromise is reached, and Lola learns how important it is to speak up and work hard for what she wants.
With pen and ink drawings that capture the emotions of its characters, the early reader Some Pigtails includes a spunky heroine who models community activism well.
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