Visually energetic but unsophisticated, with pedestrian text, this may be selected more by parents hoping the humor will coax their kids into a haircut than by the kids themselves.
“Why, hello! This is Stewart. Stewart is a monster,” plods the opening. An arrow points to Stewart, whose hair is green, curly, wavy and wild. Skinny, curling tendrils of hair supplement bold black outlines; Barton’s mixture of thick and thin lines is the best part of her loose, freewheeling ink illustrations. Being a monster, Stewart “loves all the things that monsters love,” including spiders (for hair decoration and play) and helicopters (for eating). Stewart’s ever-lengthening hair is an obstacle. It blocks classmates' view of the (tolerably funny) school blackboard: “Tonight’s homework: find human homework and eat it!” Candy, crayons and keys disappear into the unruly green coiffure. Stewart’s parents believe it’s haircut time, but the decision is Stewart’s, and he resists. Not until his prowess at frightening others becomes compromised does Stewart fold, chopping the green locks down to a popular, spiky “scare-cut.” It’s fitting that inability to incite fear feels intolerable to a monster, but some adults will cringe at the fact that Stewart—previously confident—changes his hairstyle specifically because other characters laugh at him.Neither terrible nor terribly interesting; Elivia Savadier’s No Haircut Today! (2005) is a more distilled treatment of the same subject. (Picture book. 3-5)