The Haircut Reviews

Book: The Haircut Author: Theo Heras Illustrator: Renné Benoit Publisher: Pajama Press

Canadian Children’s Book News

“The team that brought you Baby Cakes, Where’s Bunny? and Hat On, Hat Off have reunited to bring you the endearing new story The Haircut. This picture book is perfect for toddlers ready to move from board books to larger sized picture books….Each page is illustrated with beautifully simple large images that give new readers an easy place to focus their attention. Each image complements the short sentences without complicating the story in any way….

Filled with humour and honesty, the book sets up an atmosphere where it’s okay to feel your feelings and that the adults are there to be supportive and gentle. Once the character moves through his initial discomfort, Heras and Benoit are able to re-establish the playfulness they created earlier in the story….The balance of discomfort and delight throughout the story is a lovely way to introduce young children to new experiences, like haircuts, and set the stage for conversations about other new things.”
—Ashley Pamenter

Read the full review on page 25–26 of the Fall 2020 issue of Canadian Children’s Book News

CanLit for LittleCanadians

“There’s probably a lot of trepidation with respect to haircuts right now as many barbershops and salons are closed and people are taking on the task themselves. Fortunately, most of of have a history of haircuts and know what to expect, even if we ourselves don’t know what to do. But imagine a toddler who has never had a haircut. That first haircut can generate much confusion and even distress for the unknown but Theo Heras and Renné Benoit’s newest picture book, The Haircut, will comfort any child and probably a parent or two, as a young boy is taken to the barbershop for the first time….

What a wonderful book to read with toddlers (and then get them reading for themselves) who will be experiencing their first haircut. It speaks to them, not their parents who think their hair is too long or wants it styled or thinks it’s time. It’s time because the little boy’s hair keeps falling in his eyes and gets in the way of his play. He knows it’s not convenient so they know it too.

Theo Heras, along with illustrator Renné Benoit, has taken children through a number of common childhood experiences (e.g., Hat On, Hat OffBaby Cakes; and Where’s Bunny?) in these uniquely presented books. The padded cover with rounded edges and extra-heavy pages are far nicer than board books usually aimed at the youngest of readers and are a treat to handle and to read to young children. The Haircut is similarly comforting and informing. That book cover portrait that focuses on the child and his glorious tresses and doubtful face invites the reader in, and Renné Benoit’s watercolour and digital illustrations are similarly engaging, both uncluttered and complete. Like Theo Heras’s words, Renné Benoit has illustrated The Haircut for the young child, though everyone can appreciate the book.

Whether a parent wants to help a child to prepare for that first haircut or to reminisce about that first experience, The Haircut is there for a snuggly read.”

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Youth Services Book Review

Rating: 1-5 (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 5

What did you like about the book: A simple and charming read aloud to share with your son for his first haircut. The story is wonderfully illustrated with soft watercolors that detail the young boy’s facial expressions….The large book format with padded cover, rounded corners, and extra heavy pages will endure for it to be read over and over….

To whom would you recommend this book? A great read aloud for fathers and sons to bond over this ‘first haircut experience’ and to ease the anxiety for toddlers in going to the barbershop….

Should we (librarians/readers) put this on the top of our ‘to read’ piles? Yes”
Julie Durmis, J.C. Solmonese Elementary School, Norton, MA

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CM Magazine

“With a subtle nod to the traditional male barber shops of the past, The Haircut captures a toddler’s experience with his first haircut….

Told with simplicity in short, clipped sentences, The Haircut will be relatable to toddlers, many of whom will have some anxiety about getting their hair cut for the first time. The large book format, with padded covers and rounded corners, is perfect for little ones, and the heavy pages make it both durable and easy for toddlers to turn the pages.

Renné Benoit’s soft watercolor illustrations, rendered in muted shades of blue, tan and sienna with pops of red, add charm to the story….Recommended.
—Gail Hamilton

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Canadian Bookworm

“It seemed so apt to read this now just as this service is reopening in many areas after a long closure. The little boy in the story goes with his dad to get his haircut, experiencing the fun and trepidation of a first experience….

I loved the illustrations by Benoit as well. The boy is so cute and his expressions are so relatable.

A great book for any library or home collection.”

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Raincity Librarian

The Haircut is the latest baby/toddler book from the author and illustrator pairing of Theo Heras and Renne Benoit, following their adorable books Hat On, Hat Off, Baby Cakes, and Where’s Bunny?…The text is wonderfully spare – this would be a delightful pick for a baby or toddler time, where attention spans are often limited, to say the least! Heras was a children’s librarian for 24 years, and it shows in her writing – she really knows what makes for a successful book for the littlest listeners. And as always, Benoit’s illustrations are charming – everything she creates is just the sweetest!…

The Haircut has thick, sturdy, tear-resistant pages, with rounded corners and a padded cover, and will survive the attentions of the most, ahem, enthusiastic young readers.”

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Mr. Alex’s Bookshelf

“It is doubtful that most people remember their very first haircut. However, in the moment, it is a daunting event, and not just for the recipient of the haircut. Anything that causes anxiety or stress in our children does the same for us as parents. A haircut is one of those events that usually happens early in our children’s lives.

Heras shows how something a little scary becomes much easier with Daddy along to make it better. On their first trip to the barber shop together, not only does daddy make getting a haircut less scary, he also creates a special bond with his son….

Written for children ages 1-3, this is a cute story to share with kids that are worried about their first haircut (and it won’t hurt that mom and dad will get to read it as well).”
—Isabel Suárez

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Mrs. Book Dragon

“The first haircut, or actually most haircuts for a young child, can be a scary experience. This is a good book to share with a child who might be nervous about getting a haircut. I liked the large and simple pictures along with the short and sweet words. Finally, the facial expressions would be very helpful for a child as well.”

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