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Aussie Bites : Sophie's Salon : Aussie Bites - Anna Branford

Aussie Bites : Sophie's Salon

Aussie Bites

By: Anna Branford, Cheryl Orsini (Illustrator)

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Sophie longs to be a hairdresser one day. Every day after school she helps her mother's friend, Madame Tulip, in her salon. Sophie's best friend, Melita, is mad about ballet, and to Sophie's sorrow she has joined forces with fellow ballet students Vanessa and Jacqueline, who are not at all friendly to Sophie and make fun of her hairdressing skills. The three girls are preparing for their school's presentation of Swan Lake, in which Melita will be dancing the role of Odette. At the last minute, just before the show is due to start, the girls find that their designated hairstylist (Jacqueline's mother), has sprained her wrist. With the help of Madame Tulip, Sophie performs her hairstyling magic and saves the show. This is a wonderful story about friendship, self-confidence, and following your dreams.

About the Illustrator

Cheryl Orsini has illustrated more than fifteen children's books, including Fredrik Goes Bananas, I Wish I'd Danced with Anna Pavlova and Natalie Jane Prior's popular Dolls series. Her work has also appeared in Gardening Australia, Vogue Kids and The Australian Women's Weekly. Cheryl's most recent picture book is Look, Baby!, and she is currently working on The ABC Book of Transport. She lives in South Coogee, NSW.

Chapter One

'Nice hairdo,' whispered Jacqueline.

'I'd call that a hair don't!' said Vanessa, and both girls burst into giggles.

'Just ignore them,' Sophie told herself.

Sophie was used to Jacqueline and Vanessa being mean, and she tried hard not to let it bother her. Anyway, it was true that her hair did look a bit odd. She'd been learning how to do a French plait, but it's a very tricky style to do in your own hair, and she still needed some practice.

Sophie absolutely loved hairdressing. Her schoolbooks were full of doodles of hairstyles she wanted to tryout some day. Ever since she was very little she had plaited and teased and pinned her dolls' hair until most of them hardly had any left. And because her mum was still at work when Sophie finished school, she went every afternoon to Madame Tulip's Hair Salon, where she helped with odd jobs and learned more about hairdressing. Her deepest wish was that one day she would have a hair salon of her own.

Sophie's best friend, Melita, heard what Vanessa and Jacqueline said. 'Why don't you stick up for yourself?' Melita asked her, afterwards. 'You shouldn't let them push you around!'

Sophie knew Melita was right. And of course she didn't like being pushed around. It was just that she didn't quite know how to make the bullying stop. If she replied to the rude things they said, Vanessa and Jacqueline just rolled their eyes and giggled. If she said nothing, they did the same thing. It made it very difficult to know what to do.

Melita and Sophie had been best friends for years, and even though they had different interests, the differences just gave them more to talk about.

Melita loved ballet just as much as Sophie loved hairdressing. She went to ballet classes with a teacher called Miss Willow, who had been quite a famous ballerina when she was younger. The lessons were after school twice a week, and sometimes Melita went to the studio on other days as well, to practise new steps and watch the older students having their lessons.

Miss Willow's ballet studio was on the way to Madame Tulip's salon, so Melita and Sophie walked there together.

As they did before each ballet class, the girls chatted on the steps outside the studio, and Sophie did Melita's hair.

First she brushed it into a neat ponytail and tied it with a hair elastic. Then she twisted the ponytail round and round until it coiled into a bun, which she pinned carefully in place. Sophie loved the way this hairstyle transformed her friend into a ballerina. Even the way she walked seemed suddenly lighter and more graceful.

'Thanks, Sophie,' said Melita, shaking her head to see if the bun would stay firm. 'That's perfect!'

'No problem,' said Sophie, smiling.

'I prefer to have an expert do my hair,' said Jacqueline, standing in front of them with a scornful expression. She and Vanessa were also members of Miss Willow's ballet class, and they had just arrived in the car with Jacqueline's mum.

Jacqueline's mum was a professional hair and make-up artist, and she knew lots of different hairstyles for dancers. Sophie would have loved to stay and watch her do Jacqueline's hair, but she didn't want to risk being picked on.

'I have to go,' she said, picking up her schoolbag. 'Madame Tulip is expecting me.'

'See you tomorrow!' Melita called after her as she rushed off.

ISBN: 9780143304821
ISBN-10: 0143304828
Series: Aussie Bites
Audience: Children
For Ages: 8+ years old
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 96
Published: 2nd August 2010
Country of Publication: AU
Dimensions (cm): 19.8 x 13.0  x 1.2
Weight (kg): 19.8
Edition Number: 1