Logo Title Quebec Reading Connection

Mo’s Mustache

Clanton, Ben (Author/Illustrator)
Tundra Books 2013. 32 pages
First published: 2013
ISBN: 9781770495388 (hardcover)
Original language: English
Book type: Picture Book

Text Elements:

character, point of view, recurring patterns

Reading Range

 
Cycle
Elementary
Secondary
 
1
2
3
1
2
ELA
K
1
2
3
4
5
6
1
2
3
4
5
ESL
1
2
3
4
5
6
1
2
3
4
5
ESL Intensive & Enriched
5
6
1
2
3
4
5

Description:

Mo is happy with his purchase of a new moustache and so is everybody else. When they all get new moustaches, Mo sadly puts his away, and dons a scarf instead. “Soon EVERYBODY has a scarf. Even Imp (the invisible monster) has a scarf (also invisible).”

The vocabulary in this story is rich, in word-sound and description (“Nicely knotted,” “Fantabuleriffic scarf!”). Decorative type treatments make spreads look like circus posters—fun for reading words. Youngsters may recognize themselves in Mo the trendsetter, or in the other monsters who follow his lead.

Funny, artful and graphic, the illustrations use precise pen line with watercolour effects to create loveable monsters. Mo’s great yellow nose supports small, expressive eyes—beady in joy, popping in dismay, glaring in anger. Dot is a pretty blue fuzzball; Tutu is tall and pink. Mo turns crimson with rage, “WHY IS EVERYBODY COPYING ME?!” Children may have their own ideas—and suggestions for solutions. In the end, Mo suggests a fashion show, which encourages everyone’s unique style: “Nib rocks socks.” “Knot’s bowtie is top-KNOTch.” Mo himself is splendid in moustache, scarf, and “his brand new AFRO (vintage 1970). Huzzah!”

  •  

    List the adjectives used to describe the moustaches and scarves.

  •  Create an anchor chart of possible synonyms for expressions used in the story, such as: GROOVY! HUZZAH! BOOYAH! FASHION GURU! DITTO!
    ACK! 
  •  

    Discuss the author’s word play and spelling variations such as: “top-KNOTch,” “T-rific,” “TRENDIRIFIC,” “SUPERIFIC.”

  •  

    Write a short story about a different clothing item (either individually or collaboratively in small groups), using the same format as Mo’s Mustache. Refer to your class charts for descriptive words and expressions.

  •  

    List some of the compliments that Mo and his friends receive about their moustaches and scarves. 

  •  

    Write the sequence of events. Why is Mo upset with his friends? How does his opinion change at the end of the story?

  •  

    Create a mini-fashion show using an accessory brought from home. Describe it to a partner, then be sure to compliment your partner on his or her accessory.

  •  

    Compile a class list of compliments. Find ways to compliment your classmates and teachers.

  • To communicate appropriately
  • To construct his/her identity
  • To exercise critical judgment
  • To use creativity
  • Citizenship and Community Life
  • Drama
  • Visual Arts