Tortoise and the Hair by P. Crumble and illustrated by Louis Shea, paperback picture book, published by Scholastic Australia in 2014.
Tortoise is getting ready for his big singing performance, but he can’t find his favourite wig! He needs that wig to perform, but where has it got to? He starts searching all over the house. Meanwhile, the wig is having its own interesting journey, after Bear picks it up on the bus, and eventually Hare acquires it. Can Tortoise get the wig in time or will he perform without it?
We have laughed plenty through many readings of Tortoise and the Hair. It is an unusual twist to the old tale of the tortoise and the hare, playing with the words hare/hair. When we read this book the first time, I told my preschooler that Tortoise’s wig made me think of Elvis, and she said “who’s Elvis?”…. I really must try to educate my kids on such important things! Despite this shocking lack of knowledge, both my kids liked Tortoise, with and without the wig. I liked the message of the story that Tortoise can accomplish his dreams without the external reassurance of his wig. He is talented and special just being himself. It is an important thing for our children to remember, that everyone is special and being ourselves is the best we can be.
Amusing rhyming text and fantastic illustrations make Tortoise and the Hair a great book to share with preschoolers and lower primary school children. My kids like picking out funny things in the pictures, like the kangaroo paperboy and Monkey in his hammock. I was pleased to see Hare make an appearance too, racing to the venue!