Saturday, November 16, 2013

Book Review: Mo's Mustache by Ben Clanton

Now that we are in the thick of "Movember" or Mustache Month, I'm seeing staches everywhere: on wrapping paper, logos, jewelry, library users, and even in children's books! Ben Clanton's newest picture book, Mo's Mustache, honors this ragingly popular facial hair trend with a short, sweet story about individualism and acceptance.  Mo is a stylin' monster who gets a beautiful, curly mustache to wear around town.  "Everybody likes Mo's mustache," so all the monsters get mustaches: big ones, small ones, pink ones, squiggly ones, and even mustaches on sale!  Mo is not happy with this at all.  He decides to send back his "nose neighbor" and tries on a scarf, instead.  As you might expect, all the monsters jump on the scarf bandwagon, too, "Even Imp (the invisible monster) has a scarf (also invisible)."

Mo loses his patience with all the copy-monsters and shouts at his friends.  They explain that they only copy him because he's a visionary, a gentleman of style.  Of course, Mo realizes that his friends admired him and wanted only to be more like him.  This is a difficult lesson to learn, particularly in a culture that reveres individualism, but, like Mo, it is crucial to understand that we all have a contribution to make--whether it's a scarf, a boombox, or a mouth brow, that is entirely up to us.

If you're looking for other stache-themed stories, check out Moustache Up! A Playful Game of Opposites by Kimberly Ainsworth.  Kids (or, let's face it, adults) will enjoy inserting differently shaped mustaches onto the faces in this boardbook.  Also, take a look at Mustache Baby by Bridget Heos for a story about a newborn with a mustache.  It's left to you to decide if it's a sinister mustache or a friendly one! And, if you're like me, and you can't grow your own mustache, create one with the adorable designs in Craft-a-Day: 365 Simple Handmade Projects by Sarah Goldschadt (p. 155).  Remember, mustaches go with everything...

-Miss Ashley


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