From School Library Journal
K-Gr 1-This nonsense picture book is about a baby who is born with a mustache. As Billy grows up, the mustache informs his various identities: cowboy, ringleader, Spanish painter, sword fighter, and man of the law. But then, it grows and curls and becomes a bad-guy mustache. Billy then becomes a cereal criminal, a bank robber, and a cat burglar, and gets thrown in jail. Fortunately, his parents are able to reassure him that everyone has a bad-mustache day. Billy becomes a good guy again and scoots off to play with his new neighbor, a little bearded guy. Digitally rendered illustrations are saturated matte cartoons. For the most part, they mirror the text, although the humor is often in the contradictions; while the narrator claims that "everyone loved having Officer Billy around," for example, his sister and brother glare at him for ruining their play. Quirky, silly fun.-Jennifer Miskec, Longwood University, Farmville, VAα(c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
It’s apparent right from the start: Baby Billy has been born with a mustache. When asked what it means, the nurse replies that it depends on “whether it’s a good-guy mustache or a bad-guy mustache.” At first, it’s good. He becomes a toddler lawman, catching thieves with their hands in the cookie jar. But as his mustache grows and curls up at the ends, Billy becomes bad. Very bad. Throughout, the text relies on puns that the intended audience may not catch as Billy becomes a cat burglar and then a cereal criminal. What children will delight in, however, is Ang’s sturdy digital artwork, which gives her characters the heft of wooden toys even as they zip around the page. The pictures wring every bit of fun and humor from the story, with Billy taking on many mustachioed personas including painter, pilot, and cowboy (good) as well as train robber (bad). The intriguingly designed book shows Billy from many angles, often on the move, sometimes behind (crib) bars, and full of personality. The surprise ending accents the fun. A mustached baby will surely make audiences howl during read-alouds. Preschool-Grade 1. --Ilene Cooper
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