Ages 4-8 Review by Tim Hamilton What child hasn't watched dad shave off his daily whiskers, mustache, or beard and wonder where it went? In David Schiller's new book, The Runaway Beard, this is exactly how the story begins. Dad has finally decided to shave off his beard. The children (a boy and a girl) are watching as Dad lifts his razor and the beard escapes. The Beard leaps to the nearest chin, which just happens to be the baby's. Mom screams, and the Beard flees to the outdoors.

That night, the Beard signals the boy through the window. The boy lets the Beard inside, and they become friends. The next morning, they sneak off to school together. The boy, of course, is wearing the Beard. The kids on the bus snicker. (As did the children to whom I read the story!) At school, the principal tells the boy to get rid of it. The Beard then becomes a doll dress, a flower in a vase, a furry toilet seat, and even whiskers on the Mona Lisa's face.

The Beard just can't get comfortable. The children find the Beard hiding in the basement and decide to think of a way to solve their new friend's problem. It just so happens that the children's Uncle comes for a visit, and of course he's bald. The children follow their Uncle home and wave good-bye to the Beard. The next morning, Uncle wakes up to a full head of hair. He thinks his Hair Tonic has finally worked! Marc Rosenthal's comic illustrations add to the zany fun of this book, which comes with a fake beard nestled in the cover. What will happen the next time Dad grows a Beard and decides to shave it off?

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