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Author: Paul Many

Illustrator: Kevin O'Malley

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Publisher: Walker Publishing Company, Inc., 2007

Material: hard cover

Summary: Every morning, Pete and his dad did the same thing. Theirs is a father-son ritual: they combed their hair (what little dad had), shave, and head for breakfast. When Dad used his razor on his hair one morning, Pete was more than a little worried. This new person sounded like dad, but he didn't look like dad. This is a picture book detailing a son's journey of understanding change.

Type of Reading: bedtime story, anytime reading, family reading, read aloud book

Recommended Age: read together: 4 to 7; read yourself: 8 to 10

Interest Level: 4 to 8

Age of Child: Started reading with a 5½-year-old child.

Young Reader Reaction: Our child absolutely loves Pete and dad. We don't have any having hair-challenged males in the family, but this book goes everywhere. Grandparents have to read it, babysitters have to read it, and we have to read it ... over and over! After about a half-dozen readings, s/he could recite the text just based on the illustrations.

Adult Reader Reaction: This is a fun-to-read book. We have enjoyed the story and the pictures are fun, too. The fact that our daughter thinks she is reading is an added bonus! This has also helped us explain how people change. Our child is now at an age where she is trying to understand the concept of time ("How did you get to be 40-years-old so fast?") so the flash-back "pictures" helped.

Pros: This is a book families can enjoy together, and not just fathers and sons. The theme is universal, as is the message that life is about change. It may help kids who are dealing with a parent/family member whose appearance has been radically changed.

Cons: None.

Borrow or Buy: Borrow, at least. This is a fun book that will be a memorable story for kids. For fathers and sons, it will be particularly poignant.


Educational Themes: This is a story that takes a lighthearted approach to the topic of change. There are plenty of themes you can draw on: you can explore whether or not there is a link between someone's personality and appearance; talk about how we change over time; or even talk about the emotions that go with radical change, to name a few.

Literary Categories: Fiction - picture book, family, humor

Date(s) Reviewed: June 2007

Other Reviews: See Critics' Reviews and reader feedback at and


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