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Stephanie's Ponytail


None of the kids in her class wear a ponytail, so Stephanie decides she must have one. The loud, unanimous comment from her classmates is: "Ugly, ugly, very ugly." Steadfast, when all the girls have copied her ponytail, she resolves to try a new style. With true Munsch flair, each of Stephanie’s ponytails is more outrageous than the last, while the cast of copycats grows and grows.

"'Ugly, ugly, very ugly,' decrees the class when Stephanie arrives in school with a ponytail. But the next day, all the girls have ponytails, too. Dismayed and disgusted by these copycats, Stephanie has her Mom move her ponytail to one side with the same results. After wearing it top and front as well, Stephanie confronts the class with her final act of defiance - she announces that she's going to shave her head! Next day, her teacher and classmates are bald as billiard balls and Stephanie? Why, she's chased from the classroom with her very ordinary ponytail flying out behind her.
Munsch lampoons the slavish conformity of kids while applauding Stephanie's courage and audacity in this thinly disguised paean to individualism. The cumulative text and progressively more unusual hairstyles will appeal to young readers, and the turnabout ending is satisfying if not surprising. Students of all genders, races, body types, and ages are equally subject to ridicule. The blatant hostility to Stephanie's creative coiffures is never explained, however, and her unholy glee when escaping the rampaging mob of bald classmates borders on malicious. The text is presented opposite the full-page watercolor illustrations that are suitably cartoonish and silly. Independent readers will notice the funny details, such as pets with ponytails. While too small for use with large groups, this book could spark a lively discussion if read aloud. Predictable, irreverent Munsch." From School Library Journal

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Tags: ponytail, outrageous, ponytails, flair, while