Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Mop Top

Mop Top
Don Freeman ~ The Viking Press, 1955

I am currently in decision-limbo about cutting my son's hair. In some parental fantasy, my son has long, curling locks, but in reality, when it gets too free flowing, it probably looks more like this kid. Moppy has this mop top of blazing red hair and has a mild anxiety attack when his mother sends him to get it cut. After all, the grass needs cutting, the trees need trimming, the dog needs grooming... but Moppy's hair? Nooooooo. It is not until someone mistakes him for an actual mop that he finally races in the barbershop to submiss to the scissors.

"Please, Mister Barberoli, don't let me look like a mop any more," pleaded Moppy. "I don't want to clean any body's kitchen floor!" In a jiffy Mister Barberoli was clipping and snipping away, and combing and cropping without once stopping, as if he hadn't a minute to lose. Finally he did stop. He help up a mirror and said, "Well, sonny, who's that, would you say?"

From the author and illustrator of the beloved Corduroy, even though you gotta love this kid's spunk, you have to admit he does look better in the end with all his hair cropped off. Probably a good read if your child struggles with the barber chair. Lord knows mine does. A trip to his hairdresser, Snow, usually ends in tears and many promised lolly pops. I'm gonna try whipping this book out on him next time. Sneaky momma!

Also by:
Quiet! There's a Canary in the Library
Space Witch
Fly High Fly Low
The Guard Mouse


  1. I also hated getting my hair cut. I am quite sure my father, Don Freeman, observed his son's behavior at home and used this to develop the story. At the time, I thought it was pretty mean to have called me "Mop Top"! Many years later I saw a short film of Don drawing and acting as the barber cutting Mop Top's hair to Rossini's "The Barber of Seville". This film was so funny that I could look back and laugh at the story. Now I too think it is a great book. However, I am not sure showing your son the book will work. It did not with me. When I was 17, we got together in New York shortly. By that time I had hair down below my shoulders and Don still had a hard time with this!
    Anyway, have fun trying!
    Roy Freeman

  2. Sooo funny. I'd love to see that one. Your dad's book Fly High, Fly Low has made such an impression on my son. Birds are his favorite thing in the world. Just today he nearly flipped when he saw that a pigeon had made a nest in the lower loop of the B at the Starbucks.

    I really appreciate your taking the time to comment. Don't know who your dad was as a person, but it's gonna be heartwarming that after all these years his books still put smiles on the faces of the little ones... and their mommas.

    Thanks again for visiting. I'm sure we'll be doing more Freeman in the future!

  3. The Lion's Haircut by Jennifer Giddings is another good one for children afraid of getting their haircut. It was one of my favorites when I was a little girl!