Murgatroyd is a happy, loved child. He has all he could possibly want. He’s a good, contented child too – most of the time. But he really, really doesn’t like having his hair washed. And no one nearby likes the sound of Murgatroyd trying to avoid having his hair washed. So a decree is made: he shall no longer have his hair washed. He is initially happy to avoid the hair-wash torture, until the garden that grows in his hair threatens to completely overwhelm him. Illustrations combine sketches with colour, giving an almost-collage feel to the work.
Murgatroyd’s Garden was first published in 1986 and was an CBCA Honour book. There are notes in the back about the genesis and first publication of Murgatroyd’s Garden. The story was inspired by the author’s own challenges when trying to wash her sons’ hair. It’s a cautionary tale, sufficiently wild to invite wonder rather than fear, although Judy Zavos reports that it induced her children to submit with less noise! The illustrations are full of delightful details, far too many to be absorbed fully in a single read. Another title from Walker Books Classics series, guaranteed to entertain a new generation of readers. Recommended for early primary readers.
Murgatroyd’s Garden, Judy Zavos & Drahos Zak
Walker Books 2011
review by Claire Saxby, Children’s Author
This book can be purchased online from Fishpond.