Dad of Divas' Reviews: Book Review - Big Bouffant

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Book Review - Big Bouffant

"Ponytails and braids! Ponytails and braids! I don't see anything but ponytails and braids! This class needs some fashion. This class needs some fun. I'll find a hairdo to impress everyone." Annabelle doesn't want the same boring hairstyle that all the other girls have. When she spies a picture of her grandma, she has the perfect idea: a big bouffant! But how can she make her style stand up? And will her classmates really be impressed with her daring `do?

About the Author

Kate Hosford read constantly as a child, even reading through a school fire alarm at one point. She grew up in Waitsfield, Vermont, with lots of animals, including a miniature cow named Mini Moo. Kate attended Amherst College, and also spent a semester studying Buddhism in India. Kate has worked as an adoption and foster care worker, a teacher and an illustrator, before turning to writing full time. She has taught in New York, San Francisco, and Hong Kong. She is presently getting her MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults at Vermont College. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband, Chris, and her two sons, Charlie and Andreas. Kate enjoys singing and dancing with her boys. Her free time is spent trying to keep up with them!

About the Illustrator

Holly Clifton Brown lives in London. Big Bouffant is her second picture book, after Annie Hoot and the Knitting Extravaganza (Andersen Press USA). You can visit her website at

I was very lucky to be paired with Holly Clifton-Brown for this book. I especially love the depth of her illustrations.  I think she achieves this richness by doing a lot of her work by hand before scanning it into the computer and manipulating it. She also uses many interesting textures like fabric and paper bags, but she integrates them seamlessly so that they do not distract the reader. Her sense of whimsy was just right for Big Bouffant, and her palette and patterns speak for themselves. Don’t you want this wallpaper in your home? I do! Holly’s blog includes some of the sketches for the book, which I find just as beautiful as the illustrations.

My Take on the Book
Do you have a daughter,granddaughter, niece, or neighbor girl on your street who loves to play dress up? Who loves fashion?Who marches to her own "drummer"?

If so this is definitely a book she will enjoy.

Annabelle arrives at school and is upset that everyone looks alike. She decides she will do something about that.

When she arrives home she sees a photo of her grandmother with a bouffant hairstyle and it inspires her.

Annabelle tries to style her hair to make a bouffant using all kinds of household items. Her mother rescues her and the next day Annabelle returns to school with a bouffant. Some children cheer her and others laugh, however by the end of  day, everyone wants to copy her.

All of the children, including the teacher copy her. This becomes an issue with Annabelle because she wants to be different.

So our main character once again transforms herself again into a stylish, creative costume that no one has.
You will see this wonderful outfit when your read the book

The author used rhyme and engaging conversation to keep the story flowing. The illustrator's pictures give this story a magical touch of whimsy , color, and detail.

You will thoroughly enjoy this book. It will become a favorite of the special girl in your life. It has become a favorite of my granddaughters.

All opinions expressed in this review are my own and not influenced in any way by the company.  Any product claim, statistic, quote or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer or provider. Please refer to this site's Disclaimer  for more information. I have been compensated or given a product free of charge, but that does not impact my views or opinions.
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