Mrs. Paddington and the Silver Mousetraps

A Hair-Raising History of Women's Hairstyles in 18th-century London

Children - Picture Book
40 Pages
Reviewed on 03/27/2021
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Kristine Zimmerman for Readers' Favorite

Mrs. Paddington and the Silver Mousetraps by Gail Skroback Hennessey is set in 18th-century London. Mrs. Paddington is a wealthy woman and has been invited to the Moonlight Ball. All the fashionable ladies will be there and each of them will have a very elaborate hairdo. Mrs. Paddington and her hairdresser finally decide on a design that includes a windmill. The challenges in creating such a huge hairdo are outlined, including hair extensions, beef marrow, and sugar water. Because these hairdos were so elaborate, they were worn for several days and they attracted bugs and mice! Consequently, Mrs. Paddington must make a trip to the Silver Mousetrap Shoppe to buy mousetraps. Once these are purchased, she can get a good night’s sleep before the ball.

Mrs. Paddington and the Silver Mousetraps is a fascinating slice of history. Gail Skroback Hennessey has interspersed her story with some interesting historical facts. For instance, the Silver Mousetrap Shoppe is a real jewelry store that existed in London and the building is still there. Kids will be fascinated to read about how elaborate the hairstyles were back then. They might be a little shocked to find out what was attracted to those hairstyles. Steve Cox’s illustrations are a delight, especially depicting the elaborate hairdos. Mrs. Paddington and the Silver Mousetraps is a wonderful way to introduce kids to an interesting period in history. It might spur them on to find out more about the world during the 18th century. I thoroughly enjoyed learning about this unusual piece of women’s fashion history.

Steve Cox

It was a fun one to illustrate! :)