Mrs. Paddington and the Silver Mousetraps: A hair-raising history of women’s hairstyles in 18th-century London

Red Chair Pr. Jan. 2020. 40p. Tr $19.99. ISBN 9781634409001.
Gr 2-4–This picture book tells the story of Mrs. Paddington and her elaborate hairstyle in 18th-century London. Mrs. Paddington needs a new ‘do for the Moonlight Ball. Once she has decided on a design, it is up to her hairdresser to use sugar, beef marrow, and powder to make the style come to life. Mrs. Paddington must then maintain her over-the-top, towering coiffure until the ball. This includes crawling through doors, setting traps to keep the mice away from the sugar and marrow, and sleeping on a special pillow. Facts supporting the story are included throughout the pages. The humorous illustrations enhance the ridiculous lengths women went to in order to maintain their hairstyles. Students will be amused by the image of the fancy ladies crawling through the shop doors.
VERDICT This is a fun book about a little-known topic. Purchase for students who will enjoy learning about what women went through to look beautiful in the 1700s.

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