"Oh magic hour, when a child first knows he can read printed words."
~A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, 1943
Title: Mustache Baby
Author: Bridget Heos
Illustrations: Joy Ang (Canadian yea!!!)
This book is a laugh-out loud, let's read it again book. It is witty, funny, can't take your eyes off it, and very unique. What an awesome idea and what a perfect way to share through fabulous writing and adorable, cartoonish pictures....two elements that when mixed just right make the perfect story telling ingredients.
Baby Billy looks a little unusual when he is birthed because he has an added adornment....he has a mustache. The nurse adds a bit of anxiety when she says, "Well, it depends," the nurse said. "you'll have to wait and see whether it is a good-guy mustache or a bad-guy mustache." The doctors console the parents by saying everything will be fine, don't worry.
With his good-guy style stash Billy morphs into a cowboy, cares for injured animals, is a ringleader, a Spanish painter, and a sword fighter, all good and noble professions. He pins on a cop badge complelte with Men in Black sunglasses and becomes a man of the law to the annoyance of his siblings.Then one day a strange thing happens....his mustache starts to grow and curl up at the edges and guess what? Bad-guy mustache man emerges. After many devilish deeds his mom takes him down, incarcerates him and leaves him to stew in his cell. Finally she springs him and consoles him by telling him not to worry because everyone has a bad mustache day now and then. Dad also pours on the sympathy, tells him to dry his tears then announces that the new neighbour is bringing her son over to play. I won't spoil the ending of the story, but it is hilarious. I laughed right out loud. Your kids are going to really, really love this book and so are you. One of the best books I have read in a long time. Be sure to check it out.
About the Author:
My Life in Stories
1. I found Fuzzy Wuzzy (the caterpillar on my grandpa's pinky) while on family vacation. I told everybody that the way he made a "1" with his body meant that today was his first birthday. My aunts baked a cake. My uncles brought gifts, like a blade of grass and dirt. l thought it must really be somebody else's birthday, but it was, in fact, all for Fuzzy Wuzzy. This taught me that stories matter.
2. Later, when my mom would make me clean my room, I would sit on my windowsill and sing, "Where is Love?" from Oliver! Since I already had the words memorized, I decided to become a Broadway star. But as it turns out, you have to have a good singing voice. The vocal chords in my family were genetically ruined when my dad drank his mother's French perfume as a little boy.
3. My friend and I put on our own plays instead. We wrote The Whipping Boy: The Musical, featuring the Songs of Weird Al Yankovic. We should have sought permission from the brilliant Sid Fleischman, but the story was so timeless, and I was so dumb back then, that I assumed the book had been written in the Middle Ages.
4. In high school, I filled many notebooks with sad poems, which I would send to prestigious literary magazines, in hopes of at least getting paid $50 for one of my hopeless crushes. Instead, I would get notes back like this one. I thought it was nice of them to write me back. On the other hand, I decided not to do poetry anymore.
5. Next, I grew up and had a family. And I have another baby on the way!
6. I also grew up to become a children's book writer, which was my dream in life (after the perfume incident crushed my other dream before I was even born.) I've written more than 40 children's books in all. You can find them at the library.
7. I encourage you to consider your own life to be a story. If you are going through something hard, you are in the middle of your story. You must go through lots of interesting plot elements to reach your happy ending. And that's when a new story begins.
8. I also encourage kids to read for at least 30 minutes per day because, a. It will make you smart (or smarter if you're already smart), and b. Stories are awesome.
About the Illustrator: