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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