Reviews provided by Syndetics
Publishers Weekly Review
Celebrity blogger Hilton makes his debut with a book blurbed by, among others, Lady Gaga ("I wish, when I was young, I had a book as touching and beautiful as this to teach me about the journey of self-acceptance"), and brimming with admirable intentions. But a plea for understanding and tolerance, however necessary, does not a children's book make. Hilton writes as if he's working from a checklist imported from the Ideal World: the Boy's model parents love him unconditionally, "didn't pester him to play games that he didn't like," and encourage his cooking talents by building him a kitchen-equipped tree house. He has little faith in readers' ability to read between the lines ("he followed his own special dream and was happy to be just who he was"). He won't even let his hero have a simple triumph-the Boy not only saves Parents Day with his cooking, but also gets his creations on a restaurant menu. Hill, an animator also making her debut, fares better: her stylish, boldly brush-stroked vignettes exude a funny franticness, and her bigheaded, eager-eyed characters will feel instantly familiar. Ages 3-5. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
School Library Journal Review
Gr 1-3-The Boy with Pink Hair "was just born that way! A special boy, different from the rest." His loving parents encourage his interest in cooking and even build him a tree-house kitchen. At school, he encounters a Boy with a Bad Attitude, who tells him he looks really weird. Fortunately, A Girl with Ponytails offers him her friendship. The Boy with Pink Hair invites his new friend home, where she is impressed with his tree-house kitchen and praises the delicious pink food he whips up for her. When the principal's plans for a special parent luncheon are spoiled because the stove is not working, the Girl offers the culinary services of her pal. The whole class, even the Boy with the Bad Attitude, helps to prepare a delicious pink lunch. The food is a hit, and the young protagonist gains instant popularity and success. He realizes that because he "followed his own special dream and was happy to be just who he was," he has made a difference. Quirky cartoon illustrations in vivid colors add a little sparkle to the unsubtle text. Although the conflict and convenient resolution are somewhat implausible, the message of self-acceptance and tolerance is heartfelt. However, the failure to give the characters individual names lends a distant and impersonal air to the narrative. More engaging treatments of the same themes include Susan DeBell's Miranda Peabody and the Magnificent Friendship March (YouthLight, 2008) and Leo Lionni's classic, Swimmy (Pantheon, 1963).-Linda L. Walkins, Mount Saint Joseph Academy, Boston, MA (c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Kirkus Book Review
There aren't any direct references to boys liking boys or girls liking girls in this story about open-mindedness; it simply calls for tolerance for those who may be thought of as "different," such as this boy, who in addition to his startling looks also likes to cook.There don't seem to be many contemporary books that tackle this topic as effectively as the classic Oliver Button Is a Sissy, by Tomie dePaola (1979), or William's Doll, by Charlotte Zolotow (1972), with the exception of The Sissy Duckling, by Harvey Fierstein (2002). Unfortunately, this one, by another celebrity author, is an almost identical rehash of Duckling's story, in which he is ostracized because he's different, until his differences end up saving the day. Here, the Boy with Pink Hair is teased for his looks, although his enlightened parents are always supportive, encouraging his interest in cooking and not "pester[ing] him to play games that he didn't like." While the message is undoubtedly worthy, it's hard to imagine many kids actually enjoying this transparent, didactic, predictable tale. The arch tone, lessons for parents and the fact that the kids are unnamed ("the Boy with Pink Hair," "the Boy with a Bad Attitude," etc.) distance this from young readers. The bright, painterly illustrations are appealing, but they're not enough to rescue this attempt.Cheery-looking and well-intentioned, but missing a crucial kid sensibility. (Picture book. 5-8)]] Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.