The Boy with Flowers in his Hair

The Boy with Flowers in his Hair
Jarvis
Walker Books

Whimsical, wonderful and full of heart is this latest offering from Jarvis. The narrator is a little boy who is best friends with David the boy with flowers adorning his hair. Both boys are members of a happy class with a caring teacher, Mrs Jones, and nobody show the least concern about David’s unusual hairdo, not even Mrs Jones who gets hay fever; and not even when it attracts bees or a family of birds settles there for a while. 

‘But one day something happened.’ We know not what except that a petal comes off into his friend’s hand as he waters David’s hair. David becomes quiet and uninterested in playing.

The following morning David comes to school wearing for the first time ever, a hat and he’s uncharacteristically quiet. Having removed outdoor garments as Mrs Jones’ instructs, David reveals a ‘twiggy, spiky and brittle’ head sans the remaining petals that fall once his hat is taken off.

Initially David’s classmates are somewhat unnerved and steer clear of the boy, not so his best pal however who remains close not concerned by occasional scratches. He has an idea – a very creative one

– and before long everyone else in the class is involved in project restore David’s colour.

Little by little David regains his joie de vivre and eventually his original flowers too, although his best friend keeps his box of bits and pieces just in case they’re needed ‘Because he’s my best friend, and I am his.’

In Jarvis’s painterly illustrations he shows so beautifully the changing emotions of David and his best friend as well as other members of the class. With themes of acceptance and the power of friendship, his story is a touching demonstration of kindness and supportiveness just when it’s needed. Full of messages adults will want to pass on to youngsters, this book is perfect for sharing and discussing with foundation stage classes, and with young children at home too.

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