Ernest, the Moose Who Doesn't Fit

Overview

Ernest is a rather large moose with a rather large problem. He is so big he can't fit inside his book! Luckily, Ernest is also a very determined moose, and he and his little chipmunk friend aren't going to give up easily. With some tape, odd bits of paper, and plenty of enthusiasm, the pair constructs an enormous gatefold page by themselves, and everything fits together in the end.

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Overview

Ernest is a rather large moose with a rather large problem. He is so big he can't fit inside his book! Luckily, Ernest is also a very determined moose, and he and his little chipmunk friend aren't going to give up easily. With some tape, odd bits of paper, and plenty of enthusiasm, the pair constructs an enormous gatefold page by themselves, and everything fits together in the end.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In keeping with this story's work-in-progress theme, Rayner (Harris Finds His Feet) uses green graph paper as a backdrop for Ernest, a moose who's too big to fit into the book's spreads. His pinprick eyes and ample schnozz, smudged with brown paint and dotted with fingerprints, peer at readers as he attempts to work his way into the confines of the spread: "He struggles to SHIMMY, SHIFT, and SHUFFLE in forward." His rear end dominates the next spread, pushing words out of the way. "He tries to SQUIDGE, SQUODGE, and SQUEEZE in backward." But Ernest's chipmunk sidekick has an idea: "She fetches some masking tape, and Ernest collects some paper." Their solution--one that recalls the finale of a similarly themed title, Mo Willems's Big Frog Can't Fit In--is a quadruple gatefold made to look like scraps of paper taped together; unfolded, it shows Ernest in all his moosey glory. Rayner captures beautifully the bulk and awkwardness of Ernest's massive body and the nervous movements of the chipmunk; even smallest children will greet their antics with giggles. Ages 2–6. (Oct.)
From the Publisher
“Similar in concept to last year’s Big Frog Can’t Fit In by Mo Willems, ERNEST, THE MOOSE WHO DOESN’T FIT centers on an animal too big for his [book] binding. . . In Catherine Rayner’s work, a single chipmunk with a crafty streak helps Ernest build a fold-out page from paper scraps and masking tape. . . . The illustrations are charming.” —Time Out New York Kids

 

“Rayner captures beautifully the bulk and awkwardness of Ernest's massive body and the nervous movements of the chipmunk; even smallest children will greet their antics with giggles.” —Publishers Weekly

 “The simple plot marries perfectly with the large-scale, highly tactile drawings and oversize font to create a winning book that children will beg to see and hear again and again, whether lap-sitting or in a group. Brilliant!” —School Library Journal, STARRED REVIEW

 “The language is engaging and inventive. Concepts of friendship, enterprise and collaboration all shine in this very appealing import from Scotland that should delight little (and big) listeners.” —Kirkus Reviews

“Determination, problem-solving and friendship are the themes woven into the latest creation by British author-illustrator Catherine Rayner. . . . Ernest, the Moose Who Doesn’t Fit captures the magic that can happen when someone is willing to think outside the box. . . . Ernest the moose is large. So large, in fact, that he can't even fit into his own book. With the aid of his buddy, a resolute chipmunk, Ernest endeavors to ‘shimmy, shift and shuffle’ his way onto the page. Continued maneuverings are unsuccessful, but Ernest’s “little friend” has an idea. A roll of masking tape, a pile of paper and a whole lot of time lead the dogged duo to ‘crinkle, crumple and stick’ their way to a solution. . . .Preschool and school-aged children alike will be delighted by the ingenuity of Rayner’s characters. . . .  Both children and adults feel out of place and awkward at times, and it is reassuring to imagine that with persistence we, like Ernest, can ‘fit in perfectly.’” —Jennifer Robinson, BookPage

Children's Literature - Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
Ernest the moose has a problem. This is his book, but he is too LARGE to fit into it. Determined to make it, Ernest tries across the double pages first to squeeze in forward, and then to "SQUIDGE..." in backward. But only his middle fits. The book is just too small. Then Ernest's small friend, a chipmunk who has been observing his efforts, has a BIG IDEA. How they solve the problem with paper and masking tape makes for a spectacular foldout and an amusing ending. This use of imagination to solve a problem is visually very attractive. Rayner employs a casual black outline and somewhat smudged brown color to create an innocent, puzzled moose and a cheery, spunky chipmunk. She also has fun playing with the size and case of the letters in the very brief text. The foldout may inspire young readers to create their own. Reviewer: Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 1—Ernest tries his darnedest to fit on the pages of this book. With the help of his chipmunk friend, he attempts to "shimmy, shift, and shuffle in forward" and "squidge, squodge, and squeeze in backward." Nothing works; all of him just won't fit. Then chipmunk has an idea; fetching masking tape and paper, she and Ernest cobble together a gatefold for the last page. Now, the moose "fits in perfectly." The graph-paper pattern on heavy stock is the perfect background against which loose, textured line drawings humorously depict the predicament of the gangly Ernest and his furry friend. The amusing extension, cleverly constructed from a hodgepodge of gaily patterned "paper" stuck together with much tape, makes for a delightful resolution. The simple plot marries perfectly with the large-scale, highly tactile drawings and oversize font to create a winning book that children will beg to see and hear again and again, whether lap-sitting or in a group. Brilliant!—Kathleen Finn, St. Francis Xavier School, Winooski, VT
Kirkus Reviews
It's not easy being big. For Ernest, a large, handsome and personable moose, his size presents an obstacle to entering the very book in which he stars. Neither a shimmy nor a shift nor a shuffle provides access. Nor does a squidge, a squodge or a squeeze. To the rescue comes friend chipmunk. With masking tape and bits and pieces of paper, the solution unfolds--literally. Together they assemble a bigger book into which Ernest fits "perfectly." The collage illustrations on a background of a softly hued green grid contrast the moose's grand dimensions with that of the tiny chipmunk in a gently humorous fashion. Ernest is outlined in black but only partially colored in smudges of brown, so he never appears overwhelming. The language is engaging and inventive. Concepts of friendship, enterprise and collaboration all shine in this very appealing import from Scotland that should delight little (and big) listeners. (Picture book. 2-6)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780374322175
  • Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
  • Publication date: 10/12/2010
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 323,228
  • Age range: 2 - 6 Years
  • Product dimensions: 9.90 (w) x 9.90 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

CATHERINE RAYNER lives in Edinburgh, Scotland, and is the creator of several picture books, including HARRIS FINDS HIS FEET, winner of the CLIP Kate Greenaway Medal, 2009.

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