The Hair Makes the Man: Super Hairo and the Barber of Doom
EVERY SUPERHERO GETS HIS POWERS FROM SOMEWHERE.
MY POWER COMES FROM MY HAIR.
THE MORE MY HAIR GROWS, THE MORE AWESOME MY POWERS BECOME.
Superman may have had his kryptonite, but this young hero's superpowers come from his head. Not from his brain, exactly, but from his hair--a truly impressive, bushy, reddish superfro that make all his feats of daring possible. Along with his mega-hirsute followers, all sprouting massive mops, Rocco and his superfriends accomplish feats of strength and derring-do that impress all the kids in the neighborhood, especially that one interesting girl who quietly watches each awesome skateboard jump or BMX bike leap.
But every superhero has his nemesis: Superman has The Joker, and young Rocco has ... The Barber of Doom.
Faster than a speeding bullet, his traitorous parents nab Rocco, and off he goes to the villain's lair, where the Barber of Doom has his way with his hopelessly snarled mane. When Superhero emerges from his shearing a hapless hero, shorn of the source of his strength, he just knows that his super powers are history. Super Hairo is now Wimpy Baldo.
But that girl has a way to restore his powers. An artful emergency is staged, her Teddy bear is stranded far above the ground, and our sheared hero and his band of superdudes take the bait and answer the call to action.
POWER SURGED THROUGH US, AND WE SPRANG INTO ACTION!
It's hair today and gone tomorrow for this pint-sized superhero and his minions, who find out that their powers are all in their heads--but not in their hair, in this spoof of the Samson complex, John Rocco's Super Hair-o and the Barber of Doom (Hyperion, 2013). Masterful page design gives this superhero tale its pizzazzy prowess. Using comic-book dot-printing technique and a palette right out of DC Comics, Rocco uses dialogue balloons and plenty of POWS and ZAPS to show the superdudes in action, switching to gray and white pages when the heroes lose their powers at the barbershop, and returning to color when the clean-cut heroes discover that even minus their manes, their mojo is still working. For a dynamic duo, a mane event, pair this story with Bethany Barton's This Monster Needs a Haircut (see review here)
A 2012 Caldecott winner for his Blackout, Rocco is a versatile author-illustrator who goes way back to Aesop for his fractured fable, Wolf! Wolf! (see review here), and ventures into fantasy in Moonpowder, very different stories but all with exemplary artwork.