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Even Monsters Need Haircuts



Last updated Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Author: Matthew McElligott
Illustrator: Matthew McElligott
Date of Publication: 2010
ISBN: 080278819X
Grade Level: 1st    (GLCs: Click here for grade level guidelines.)
Date(s) Used: Oct. 2012

Synopsis: Just before midnight, on the night of a full moon, a young barber stays out past his bedtime to go to work. Although his customers are mostly regulars, they are anything but normal—after all, even monsters need haircuts. Business is steady all night, and this barber is prepared for anything with his scissors, rotting tonic, horn polish, and stink wax. It's a tough job, but someone's got to help these creatures maintain their ghoulish good looks.

Note to readers:
•  Short book. Start with a full "picture walk," engaging the kids with all the great illustrations.

Discussion topics for before reading:
•  Do you like to get your hair cut?
•  Who cuts your hair? (mom/dad/grandma/barber?)
•  Do monsters really need haircuts?

Vocabulary:
•  Skeleton Key – a key that opens any lock
•  Vlad – nickname of Vladimir the Vampire
•  Rotting Tonic, Horn Polish, Stink Wax – made-up hair products for monsters

Discussion topics for during/after reading:
•  Is this story a dream?
•  What supplies do you use in your hair? What is different about the products monsters use?
•  What kind of customer are you?
•  Do you think it’s a good idea for the boy to sneak out at night?

Craft ideas:
•  make a monster mask with yarn or pipe cleaners as hair, then “style/cut” the hair
•  make a Jack o'Lantern out of construction paper.

Special activities:
•  create/draw your own monster
•  decorate a paper bag for collecting trick-or-treats

*Note: These craft ideas are just suggestions. You can use them, but you don’t have to use them. You can expand upon them, or add your own twist. Remember, though, that the focus of your time should not be on the development and execution of a craft; the focus should be on the read-aloud and the enjoyment of the book!