From copycatting to courage, Stephanie’s Ponytail has it all. This delightful story shows what happens when one person attempts to step out of the norm. Stories such as this one are very important to tell, as when they come along they can be helpful and inspirational to young readers.
Stephanie is a little girl with big ideas. She wants to be an individual. But being an individual in grade school isn’t always so easy. The title character shows up at school one day wearing a ponytail. A normal enough thing, you might think. But, “Ugly, ugly, very
ugly,” is all the class has to say that day. Unfazed, Stephanie says, “It’s my ponytail and I like it.” However, the next day, things begin to change. Suddenly, all the girls in her class are wearing ponytails. Stephanie is outraged! Her attempt at being unique has failed. The class continues to mock her with their cries of “Ugly, ugly, very ugly,” but then they show up at school each day with exact replicas of each new hairstyle Stephanie wears. She announces she intends to arrive at school the next day bald. As predicted, the next day, all the girls—including the teacher and the boys—have shaved all their
hair off in an attempt to be like the title character. But she, unbeknownst to them, has pulled a fast one and is chased out of the classroom with her long ponytail waving behind her. Now
it’s her turn to shout, “Ugly, ugly, very ugly!” Stephanie’s Ponytail includes full-page watercolor illustrations
that are silly enough to hold the attention of every age group. There is humor tucked into the little details (pets with ponytails!) as is so characteristic of Munsch. This is a great book for independent readers as they can relate to the subject matter and feel successful at completing it. It also serves as a fun jumping off point for conversations about courage, individuality, conformity, teasing, trends and more. Stephanie’s Ponytail is one of those children’s books that teachers, parents and kids will return to time and again. It deals with issues grade schoolers face every day and gives them a creative outlet for discussing them.