Dan, our BLG reader this week brought in a fabulous book – Mustache and prompted a discussion about men’s fashion through the ages and the price of vanity. Mustache is witten by Mac Barnett and illustrated by Kevin Cornell.
This book reminded us that when you take a picture book, add a bunch of students and a read aloud environment, you just never know what you are going to get! In our classroom this week, the book Mustache got us talking (well Dan talking . . . ) about how men used to wear tights and high heels. Very intriguing for the children who just shook their heads in disbelief or broke out in contagious giggles. Our main character, King Duncan, was always gazing at himself in the mirror examining his style and so we looked at it a little more closely and spied tights! What was with the King’s outfit? For a few pages, we couldn’t move past that. Neither could King Duncan evidently as he had a royal “mirror carrier” follow him everywhere so he could continuously check out his reflection.
Oh King Duncan, so busy being vain, he never gets to the kingly duties of caring for his kingdom. When his subjects storm the castle and ask for improvements, King Duncan takes a week to have a banner made for the side of the castle: a picture of himself with “I’m Great” written underneath. Getting nowhere with their direct requests, the King’s subjects revert to other means to communicate their frustration with the King: drawing moustaches on his banners. And then . . . painting moustaches on the wanted posters he prints to try and uncover the moustache banner culprit. A lot of posters. A lot of moustaches. A lot of giggles in our classroom!
Finally all of the villains (can you be a villain for merely vandalizing? Apparently, yes!) end up imprisoned. It turns out everyone is guilty and the whole kingdom becomes “jail” – fixed up by default as more “jail” is erected. What is a poor lone King to do with just his own reflection to keep him company? Hmm . . . perhaps paint a moustache?
Our student reviewers report:
Deandra: I liked this book because the King painted his face!
Truman: I liked it when everyone drew moustaches on him!
Khai: I liked the book because it was very funny. People kept drawing mustaches on the King’s posters!
I was already a fan of Mac Barnett who wrote the fantastic Billy Twitters and His Blue Whale Problem. Check out Barnett’s website here. Kevin Cornell is a new illustrator for me – but one I will be keeping an eye out for. His illustrations in Mustache were absolutely delightful! His website can be found here.