Random House Children’s Books/Schwartz and Wade Books, 2013

Young fans of the Disney movie Tangled will especially love this hair-raising story. What happens when one little girl refuses to brush her long, beautiful hair? Well, one day a mouse comes to live in a particularly tangled lock. Soon after, more mice move in, and the girl's unruly mop is transformed into a marvelous mouse palace complete with secret passageways and a cheese cellar! She loves her new companions—they tell knock-knock jokes and are sweet to her doll, Baby—but as the girl comes to find out, living with more than a hundred mice atop your head isn't always easy. . . . Here's an fantastic tale that will have kids poring over the mice's elaborate world within the girl's wild, ever-changing hairdo.

Letter from Kate (opens as PDF)


New York Times Review (opens as PDF)

Kirkus Books review:

When an imaginative, stubborn little girl refuses to brush her hair, strange consequences ensue.

The unnamed girl has beautiful, long wavy hair and prefers it tangled and wild. To her parents she repeatedly states, “It’s just my way.” Soon, one mouse, then a second, and then more and more take up residence in the mess that is her hair. They tell her jokes, she shares her lunch with them, and they turn her hair into a mouse palace. All of these activities are shared by her doll, Baby, her constant companion. While she mostly enjoys the situation, she finally begins to understand that things have gotten out of control. The mice have convinced her to stop bathing because they can’t swim, resulting in offensive odors and loss of friends at school. Bernheimer employs a chatty narration that directly engages her audience. The tale is structured on a base of “what ifs…,” building upon absurdities that include parents who are barely there and amazingly tolerant while maintaining a sense of reality that allows young readers to believe, just a little, that it could happen. And of course, there’s a satisfying and reassuring conclusion. Parker’s digitally colored pencil illustrations complement the spirit of fun and fantasy, depicting a seemingly normal setting with the addition of some delightfully goofy details.  Imaginative fun for all. (Picture book. 4-8)

Library Journal Review

PreS-Gr 2–A nameless heroine refuses to brush her bear-brown hair after her nightly bath. When the grown-ups, who hover at the edges of the story, object, she says, “It’s just my way.” A mouse nests in her tangled curls, but she is unafraid. Rather, she welcomes scores of other mice, enjoying the company of her companions who tell knock-knock jokes and are kind to her favorite doll, Baby. Soon, the girl discovers some drawbacks to her unusual situation. She must share her food with the mice, they refuse to go in the bath, and they keep her awake all night. The hungry, dirty, and exhausted little girl does not know what to do until herteacher tells her that she can’t bring Baby to school because she already has too many naptime friends with her. The child gently explains to the mice that it is time for them to go. That night, she washes and brushes herlocks and finally gets a good night’s sleep. On the playground, a couple of mice scout for a new home in the pigtails of another little girl. It is “just their way.” The digitally colored illustrations focus on the girl, showing her in her comfortable home or her cheerful schoolroom. Her luminous face expressively portrays her emotional journey throughout the fanciful fable. For a more straightforward treatment that also addresses the resulting struggle between mother and daughter, try Lee Fox’s delightful Ella Kazoo Will Not Brush Her Hair (Walker, 2010).–Linda L. Walkins, Saint Joseph Preparatory High School, Boston, MA