Montana Public Radio

Picture Book Review: 'Bugs in My Hair' by David Shannon

Aug 6, 2013

Bugs in My Hair! by David Shannon

The Blue Sky Press, 2013 

When I read the title of David Shannon's new book, I didn't realize it was going to be non-fiction. But yes, this very clever, delightfully illustrated children's book is about head lice. 

Shannon somehow manages to convey the horror and shame of a child discovering "bugs in [his] hair" with excitement, and humor.

The lice in the illustrations are huge and horrible (with a tiny speck as a reference to illustrate their actual size). The bugs play instruments and dress as Dracula while the child tears at his hair in horror.

In spite of the light-hearted approach, lots of real information about head lice is presented, including where they come from and how they are treated in addition to what they look like in egg (nit) and full-grown form. 

Young children will be delighted by the gross-factor, and those who have contracted head lice may feel less stigmatized as well after reading this marvelous book that turns a battle against head lice into a colorful cartoon adventure. 


David Shannon is the writer and illustrator of numerous bestselling picture books, including No, David!, a 1999 Caldecott Honor Book and a New York Times Best Illustrated Book of the Year. He lives in Los Angeles with his wife, Heidi, their daughter, Emma, and their dog, Fergus.


Renée Vaillancourt McGrath has worked at Montana Public Radio as a program host since 2002. Her background is in librarianship and she currently works as a freelance editor, blogger, and website developer. Check out more of her book reviews at