Looking for a Moose, written by Phyllis Root and illustrated by Randy Cecil

Looking for a moose

Have you ever seen a moose?

More importantly, do you want to see a moose?

Did you know that moose have long legs, branchy antlers, and bulgy noses?

And, finally, did you know that they are nearly impossible to find, even if you set out with your friends on a moose-finding mission?

When I saw this book at the library, I snatched it off the shelf to make sure no other person would check it out, because I just knew it would be a hit.  A (multi-racial!) group of stalwart hiking friends and their loyal dog decide that they want to see a moose.  Off they go, through the woods, swamps, o’er hill and dale, to “see a moose”.  And on each page they manage to not-see the moose, who are cleverly hiding in their natural habitat.

I was a fan.  I was pretty sure Toddly would be a fan.

We look in the woods
Look as hard as you like, you won’t see them until they want to be seen…unless you are a clever little dog.

And he was – the first time I read this to him (at bedtime), he literally screamed out, “A MOOSE!” when (spoiler alert) he finally saw one on the penultimate page.  And then, we turned the page and the searching children look down from a hilltop on a moose-covered plain.  “SO MANY MOOSE!!!” screamed Toddly in joy, so loudly that dad, downstairs, wondered what shenanigans we were up to upstairs in bedtime-land.

Answer: moose-spotting-shenanigans.

Rating: B+.  Not a must-have-classic, but very enjoyable.  Definitely worth gifting to a child you know.

Reading Ages: 2-3.  Our kid liked it quite a bit, but I don’t think it would have much staying power for older kids.  The moose are too easy to find and there isn’t enough “story”.

Best thing about this book: Other than the bulgy-nosed moose illustrations?  The fact that the kids are a mixed-race bunch, without any fuss or mess about it.  They just are.

Worst thing about this book: With all of the action words and the sheer excited joy of finding the herds of moose at the end, it’s not an ideal bedtime book.  (We read it at bedtime anyhow).

Will I ever used the tag, “bulgy-nosed” again?: I certainly hope so.  At the moment, it would mean reviewing Cyrano de Bergerac (by Edmond Rostand).  I guess it could fall into “YA” literature, because that’s when I read it.  But I read it for class, so I don’t know if that “counts” (I did enjoy it).  OH WAIT. I could (and likely will) also review Arthur’s Nose (by Mark Brown), which we own, which Toddly loves, and which is about a nose.  The Interweb says that there is another YA book called My Big Nose and Other Natural Disasters, by Sydney Salter.  If I can get it from the library, I can review that, too.  Only I’m not sure either of those noses are “bulgy”.

Did you notice that I used the word “shenanigans”?:  I did.  And I did it without shame.  I am either a shameless fogey, or a shameless hipster.  Take your pick.

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