Written and illustrated by Matthew McElligott
Walker & Company, 2010
$14.99, ages 4-8, 40 pages
Some say full moons cause sleeplessness and craziness, and one little boy should know.
He gets up at midnight every month when the moon is as round as a beach ball and heads down to his dad's barber shop to give his monster friends hair-dos.
Like every lunar cycle before, it's been a month since their last cut and some are looking kind of shaggy -- well, sort.
Frankenstein needs his flattop squared up, an ogre has a maverick hair twirling out of the top of his purple head and Medusa's snake locks could use a few braids.
The boy's not a bit scared and he's careful to follow family rules, especially the one about not going out of the house alone.
His friend Vlad, the vampire bat, meets him outside his window and flies by his side as he walks to the back of Dad's shop with a skeleton key in hand.
Once inside, Vlad loses the wings and goes around the shop flipping around wall art of coiffed human heads to show glam monsters on the other sides.
Now it's time for the boy to unpack grooming supplies from his backpack: his stink wax, tangling brush and, of course, shamp-ewww to keep his customers nice and hideous.
Vlad is first in the barber seat: he wants a sculpted forward-combed do. You can tell he trusts the boy completely, since he can't see his reflection in the mirror.
Then Igor pokes his green head in the door and before you know it, the joint is packed. Some of the monsters only need a snip but others are trickier to please.
When Werewolf gets on the chair, the boy has to climb on top of his shaggy head and whip out the branch loppers to do the job right.
Then Skeleton rattles up to the seat and it's hard to know exactly what he wants the boy to do. Perhaps a head buff will do?
Just then, there's a knock at the front door. Uh oh. Monsters know to come in the back, so who could this be?
As the door opens, the monsters dive for cover as a man in slacks strolls up to the chair. The boy's nervous, but luckily the man's holding something scary.
Who says dogs are a kid's best friend? After this delightful tale, readers may want a different sort of fanged friend.