One thought on “Minji’s Salon

  1. Kathleen Crawford-Mckinney & Jean Schroeder says:

    Kathleen: We promised mischief and mischief is what we have this week in Minji’s Salon written by Eun-hee Choung, first published in South Korea. No matter what your age, this book will put a smile on your face. We have alllll been there!
    Jean: The story begins before the title page. These pages set the story up with environmental print. In the illustration you see a street with shops and one says Style Story, that being the name of a shop and the theme of the story. You see the back end of the dog on the right hand side of the double page spread. The dog’s front half wraps around to the next page. This unusual depiction may be an indication of the important role the dog has in the story.
    Kathleen: The illustrations are a major ingredient in this book and the artist/author has used several techniques to bring out the humor. For example, you see Minji looking in the window of the hair styling shop and on the following page you see what Minji sees. She sees a woman making decisions about a new style.
    Jean: It is not till the end of the story that you find out that the woman is Minji’s mother.
    Kathleen: I also notice that the illustrations begin and end with double page spreads.
    Jean: Yes, and through the styling pages, you see Mother being styled on the left, and Minji and the dog mimicking the scene on the right.
    Kathleen: Using her dog as the customer, Minji does what she sees in the hair salon. The dog is SO tolerant! Minji tries several “styles” – a wig, a headband with an antenna. She uses ice cream as one kind of treatment and the dog is actually thrilled with this idea as the tasty treat melts and drips onto his tongue. Minji is not quite as thrilled when the pup cleans her face as well.
    Jean: And then there is the paint for several splashes of color. I love Minji’s ingenuity of making pencils and crayons serve as curlers and a pair of undies as a hair dryer that take us right back to Brief Thief! Underwear is funny all over the world!
    Kathleen: When Minji’s mother comes home she reacts as you would expect a mother to react…surprise and upset. This is so clever. The reader’s attention is totally distracted from the dramatic change in Mother’s hair color.
    Jean: The tension of the scene quickly changes to play – something as a reader I did not expect but thought was so wonderful. Play and pretending are often so absent in school these days and sometimes I think technology cuts into play at home. While there is imaginative technology, active role playing and pretending is such a great way for a child to grow.
    Kathleen: The story ends with Minji looking back into the window of the hair salon, but now she is wearing high heels – red like her mom’s new hairstyle. It leaves the reader wondering how much of the story really happened and how much is Minji’s imagination at work, including her mother’s response.
    Jean: Or is it a different day completely and she is looking for new styling ideas? I appreciate that within the play of the book, the reader gets to play and imagine as well.
    Kathleen: The dog on the last page adds a bit to the mystery since he goes from covered with Minji’s styling efforts with paint and stickiness to looking relatively normal on the last page.
    Jean: The story connects with me as I remember trying to dress up my dogs when I was young and they were always resisting my efforts! This week is Halloween and my understanding is people spend a gazillion dollars dressing up their dogs for the holiday. I think there might be a lot of disgruntled dogs out there this week. Seems no one tries to dress up his or her cats…Hhhmmm. I can’t imagine!!! PetSmart is not advertising cat costumes!!!
    Kathleen: This book just makes me laugh. I wonder if those who are not into pets can appreciate the humor. I think pets have often played a role in make-believe and play in which young children try out behaviors they see adults doing.
    WE hope you have enjoyed this month of humorous books and continue reading and sharing them with others. Everyone needs a good laugh now and then!

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