Perfect Picture Book Friday-Mustache!

Susanna Leonard Hill features Perfect Picture Book Friday on her blog. This is a wonderful resource if you are wondering what books to give as gifts, needing material for a lesson, or just looking for a great book to read. Here is a list of books by category. Each book listed has a link to a review, information about that book, and resources for activities. There is also an alphabetical list.

Today I am reviewing a funny tale—


Written by Mac Barnett

Illustrated by Kevin Cornell

Hyperion 2011

Ages 4-8

Themes: Fairy Tales, Humor, Vanity

Synopsis: (from Goodreads) King Duncan is terribly handsome, but a terrible king. His kingdom is in ruins, and when his subjects appeal for help, he only builds more tributes to his handsome face. His subjects are finally ready to stand up for themselves, and they have just the plan to get out of this hairy situation.
A mustache….because sometimes good looks alone just aren’t enough.

Opening: Duncan was a terrible king, but he was terribly handsome. “Don’t I look wonderful?” said King Duncan. “Yes, sire,” said his Royal Advisor. He spent every Royal Day admiring his Royal Reflection, and not doing much else. Which is why is kingdom was such a Royal Mess.

Resources: Before reading, make mustaches out of black construction paper. Glue or tape to Popsicle sticks or pointer finger so that the reader and listeners can all have a fun little prop. HERE is a template for some mustaches. After reading, have students make their own “kingdom” signs modeled after those in the illustrations. Instead of the caption, “I’m great!”, have them make a caption that reflects one of their positive traits. This book is an excellent model for older kids to write their own fairy tale. HERE is a website to get them started.

Why I Like This Book: Mustache! is a funny tale about how vanity can make you lonely. Along with providing a good  starting point to discuss the selfish king’s self-centered behavior, it provides many laughs for children and adults. The illustrations are incredible. One thing you should look for throughout is the juggler…he is on several spreads and the items he juggles become more absurd as the book goes on…. they add a humor of their own….very clever!

31 thoughts on “Perfect Picture Book Friday-Mustache!

  1. Oh my goodness, Penny…what a hilarious book! I love it and think it would be great to share on school visits…thanks for a wonderful review…I’m going to try to get a copy. 🙂


  2. We read this one a few months ago and it was hilarious. I never noticed the juggler, though. I’ll have to get it out again and have another look.


  3. This book sounds great, Penny! And I think I know a person or two (not necessarily children! :)) who could benefit from the lesson in this book 🙂 The story and your activities look like they’ll be tons of fun. I will have to check this one out!


  4. This looks like a great book!The King looks like quite a character — and I love jugglers! Especially when they drop things. We play with mustaches around here a lot. The Mom Persons family has a thing about fake mustaches. My Buddy Walker even gets to wear them on occasion.


    1. Wouldn’t that be fun? The kids would love the mustaches.Recently, I went to a baby shower for a former student. She was having a boy. Someone brought mustache finger tattoos for all of us. It was so fun! So, I thought it would fun for kids, too!


    1. Everyone loves the cover! It’s what drew me to the book at the library. It is an important lesson and I think they’ll “get it” when they hear this story. His vanity is so over-the-top that it drives the message home.


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