Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Book Talk Tuesday: Big Wig

It's been fun preparing for our visit with Kathleen Krull. Many students are already familiar with two of her books since they were on our Golden Dragon lists in the past two years: Kubla Kahn and The Boy Who Invented TV. 

Big Wig: A Little History of Hair, by Kathleen Krull, illustrated by Paul Malone

What a cool concept! A whole book about hair and the hairstyles that were popular in various places and at different times in history. Organized chronologically beginning with pre-history, we learn about the connection between history and personal style in bite-sized chunks of information. An illustration accompanies each fact providing a necessary visual for some of the more bizarre styles. 

Invention of the hairdryer: vacuum in reverse!
We learn how the curling iron was invented (by a horse-groomer!) how Italian women discovered "highlights", and how trends in the media popularized famous hairstyles like the "Dorothy Hamill" and the beehive.

The amount of information is just right: short enough for a read-aloud with grades 3+, but detailed enough to be informative. It's a great way to pique students' curiosity to learn more about a particular era or examine current trends on the red carpet and find their inspiration.

Some videos to supplement:
Shirley Temple and her "banana" pin curls
The Supremes and their "beehives"
The Beatles on The Ed Sullivan Show
Dorothy Hamill's 1974 Free Skate

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