Barbara L. Talcroft
This is not just another moose but a moose with ideas!
Children's LiteratureIs Moose following in the hoofsteps of Morris and Bullwinkle? Well, sort of: he's goofy enough, probably a bit smarter, although not nearly as funny. Big clunky Moose has a long, homely face, a bulky body and no antlers, since this is molting season. Since it is also hunting season, Moose must stay indoors, where boredom and embarrassment at his antlerless head drive him to frying doughnuts and painting pictures. How Moose finds an outlet for this creativity is the "big idea" and the rest of the plot. Marking the beginning of the "Moose and Hildy" series, this 61-page paperback also introduces the checkers-playing pig Hildy as Moose's best friend, a less likely sidekick for a moose than a bear or a flying squirrel. A clueless hunter rounds out the cast of the mildly amusing chapter book with its black-and-white, cartoon-like illustrations defining the misshapen moose, his less than original paintings, his tubby friend, and their almost identical beamed cottages in the woods. Of course, the antlers begin to sprout again in the spring. Paraphrasing Mooses's views on art, the confused hunter (who has met the bulky animal artist several times without recognizing him) declares, "There's no good or bad with moose, there are just different styles." Chapter book readers who like Moose's style can look forward to further rambling adventures in the future, though, judging from this inaugural volume, they'll be less than the "hilarious" promised on the back cover. 2005, Marshall Cavendish, Ages 6 to 9.
Barbara L. Talcroft
School Library JournalGr 1-3-Greene departs from the popular, reality-based "Owen Foote" series (Houghton) to offer lots of laughs in this easy chapter book. Moose is sad upon losing his very large antlers, but cheers up a bit when his pig friend, Hildy, is now able to observe his pretty eyes and muscular legs, and notes the troubles his antlers brought. In the next chapter, he stays inside during hunting season, spending his time reading, doing puzzles, and drawing impressive pictures, modestly telling the less-talented Hildy that "`There's no good or bad in art-just different styles.'" When cabin fever ensues, Moose gets the idea to sell doughnuts, coffee, and original artwork to hunters, hoping they won't recognize him in a blue hat and white apron, making a sale to a naive hunter. In another chapter, this same man finds Moose's old antlers but won't give them back. Finally, Moose's new antlers begin to grow. Fans of Cynthia Rylant's "Poppleton" (Scholastic) and other readers stepping up to chapter books will laughingly turn these pages and clamor for more. Mathieu's frequent black-and-white illustrations expand on the fun.-Laura Scott, Farmington Community Library, MI Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
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