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Mustache! Hardcover – October 25, 2011
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King Duncan is a rather good-looking guy. Unfortunately, his aesthetically appealing features do not necessarily translate into good governing skills (who knew?). In fact, King Duncan spends so much time admiring his royal visage that his kingdom is literally falling apart-towers crumble, potholes pepper roads, and playgrounds are health hazards, but King Duncan's best solution is to put up more banners depicting his kingly beauty. Finally fed up, his subjects take matters into their own hands, sneakily painting black mustaches on each royal caricature during the night, an act of rebellion that lands them all in jail. In order to accommodate so many prisoners, King Duncan is forced to build a larger jail-one that has complete towers, fully paved roads, and functional swings. The clever text will have leave youngsters giggling at the villagers' inevitable triumph at the king's expense, but the real appeal here lies in the illustrations with their cartoonish comedy and jokey details. Awash in vibrant color, the enjoyably overstuffed spreads are populated with plenty of hilarious but understated jokes (the signs of the protesting villagers are particularly amusing, and the mustaches are absurdly ubiquitous), inviting the viewer to pore over each page. A gilded peacock pattern frames each picture, completing the fractured fairy-tale feel. Youngsters will get a kick out of this kingly comedy, but you might want to hide the magic markers lest audiences follow the villagers' example on your other picture books. KQG BCCB"
King Duncan "spent every Royal Day admiring his Royal Reflection, and not doing much else. Which is why his kingdom was such a Royal Mess." When his subjects revolt, King Duncan's solution-yet another giant billboard of his royal visage, this one declaring, "I'm Great!"-forces them to use the graffitisti's most potent weapon: the scribbled mustache. Duncan, naturally, is outraged, and his attempts to ferret out the culprit result in even more absurdity. Barnett's (Oh No!: Or How My Science Project Destroyed the World) gift for humor is as sharp as ever, and Cornell (The Trouble with Chickens) holds his own in scenes filled with visual gags. Cornell has a particular love of signage (the angry mob's posters read, "Better Ladders for Potholes" and "Read Our Signs!") and statuary (the king is memorialized conquering such menaces as a surprised puffer fish and an apathetic walrus), and the half-lidded eyes of his subjects telegraph their frustration with their ruler. Barnett's light touch with the ending is just right, avoiding dreary moralizing. PW"
MUSTACHE! Barnett, Mac (Author); Cornell, Kevin (Illustrator) Ah, the endless pleasure of drawing little mustaches on pictures. When his subjects plead with vain King Duncan to fix their falling-apart kingdom, he responds by giving them the greatest gift of all: a giant portrait of himself slung from the castle walls. They are understandably underwhelmed. The next day a giant mustache adorns his royal face, and, furious, he has more posters of his likeness made up to plaster every free inch of the kingdom. And sure enough, every one of them soon sports a little black mustache. Who could have perpetrated such a crime? Well, everybody, it turns out, and after the king builds a kingdom-sized jail to adequately hold them all, loneliness eventually drives him to join in the spirit of the joke. The pompous king takes center stage in much of Cornell's cartoony artwork, but there's all kinds of great stuff going on in the periphery (including a jester who juggles battle-axes, babies, and hamburgers), ensuring plenty of repeat trips to watch Duncan get lampooned again and again. - Ian Chipman Booklist"
Barnett delivers a sweet slap to vanity. This king is neither toady nor tyrant, but he just can't get enough of himself. He gazes into the mirror that one of his retainers totes by his side, smitten and remiss. For as he takes in the royal visage, the royal roads are crumbling and the royal playground has broken swings-his kingdom is a wreck of neglect. "Enough!" cry his subjects, but all the king offers is a giant billboard of his face. That night, a giant mustache is painted on the royal puss. Outraged, the king wants the culprit flung in jail. The wanted posters, of course, feature the king's face. More mustaches materialize. "So he slouched in the Royal Throne. Look at my wonderful face, ' he said. Who could be doing this to me?' " Well, everyone. Cornell ushers the story forward with cinematic artwork, framed in elaborate medieval-like borders but paced sequentially like a comic book. As the town inadvertently re-creates itself-everybody admits their guilt, everybody must go to jail, which means a big expansion project for the prison, which results in a whole new village-there comes a bloodless revolution. The king can't beat them, so he joins them, clueless until the end, and kids will giggle all the way. Kirkus"
About the Author
Kevin Cornell (www.bearskinrug.co.uk/) spends his days manicuring a magnificent beard, pausing only occasionally to illustrate from his Philadelphia home. Both he and his mustache have illustrated several books, including The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button: A Graphic Novel and The Trouble With Chickens. You can visit him online at www.kevskinrug.com.
Top Customer Reviews
Other kids will like it because it's very silly. They would really enjoy the part where all of the pictures get mustaches painted on them.
I especially like the part where all of the sheep are up on the roof and the castle is a mess. I also love that all of the pictures get painted with mustaches.
Children ages 4 - 8 would like this book. Both boys and girls would enjoy this book, but boys would especially like it.
I would give the book 10 stars if I could!
Review by Young Mensan Hayden, age 4
Check out the juggler. From page to page, his juggling gets more and more absurd.
+an axe, a sword, a statuette
+three chef's knives
+a drumstick, a mop, a tankard, a lit candle, a parchment
+an ice cream cone, a ca, a pitchfork
+a hamburger, a chicken, a sock monkey
+a bowling pin, ketchup, a portrait of the king, a snorkel
+the axe, the sword, a cello, pizza, a shepherd's crook
+a baby, a book, a chair
+(from behind bars) lumber and a saw
+an egg, new laws, a hammer
The juggling seems to illustrate the growing folly of the king. Everywhere he goes, he is attended by a mirror-wielding servant.
Sensational book, perhaps holding a deep meaning.
In my opinion, the illustrations are awesome, the storyline has potential, but the ending is really lacking. In addition, I feel it's the type of book, in which, the reader (if it's not the child) needs to add to the story with funny voices, extra animation, etc. for it to be really humorous. For example, my husband is not an animated reader and so he really dislikes reading this one aloud to our son.
Overall, I would recommend this book for the kindergarten to 2nd grade set mostly for the illustrations.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Looove this book. The illustrations are wonderful and hilarious, the story is perfect. I'd read it to my kids every night.Published 17 days ago by Jeanie
My 6 yr old daughter loves to read this book! New and big word to help expand her vocabulary!Published 20 days ago by Mandie
I personally didn't like it at all. My son keeps reading it but he's most interested in the pictures itself.Published 10 months ago by Daniella Silva
Illustrations were well done. The story needed much more to it, especially the ending. Disappointed.
A third grade teacher