Stephanie's Ponytail

by Robert N. Munsch,
ISBN: 0606128190

Post Your Opinion
Children`s Books
by Denise Gordon

>Robert Munsch's forty-seventh book deals humorously with the issues of peer pressure and the search for individual style. Stephanie arrives at school with a "nice ponytail coming right out the back." This is greeted by chants of "ugly, very ugly" by her classmates, who nonetheless copy her hairstyle the next day. Stephanie then alters her ponytail, only to be relentlessly imitated to the point where she threatens to shave her head. The ending comes as a delightful surprise: the copycat cycle is broken by the still ponytailed Stephanie arriving at school to find her classmates as bald as billiard balls.

The voice of Munsch the story-teller rings throughout the text. Although perhaps a bit loud for adult taste, children love his quick, blunt dialogue. The story is filled with silly fun, sure to be greeted by reams of giggles as girls with ponytails drooping in front of their noses stumble into the boys' bathroom by mistake. Parents will be pleased by Stephanie's determined stand against peer pressure and the downfall of the copycats who taunt her.

Of all Munsch's illustrators, Martchenko best matches his zany brand of humour. Pandemonium is conveyed without clutter in his bright hilarious pictures, such as the final illustration in which a ponytailed Stephanie is pursued down the school hallway by a hoard of starkly bald classmates, a teacher (also bald), and a couple of cats and dogs. Although Munsch's books are meant to be read aloud, any picture-book should also satisfy in written form. Munsch's work seldom does. Nonetheless, Stephanie's Ponytail is fast and furious fun for the four-to-eight-year-old set.

Denise Gordon is a children's librarian in the Northern District branch of the Toronto Public Library.


Home First Novel Award Past Winners Subscription Back Issues Timescroll Advertizing Rates
Amazon.ca/Books in Canada Bestsellers List Books in Issue Books in Department About Us