Saturday, January 12, 2013

Book Review: Z is for Moose, by Kelly Bingham, illustrated by Paul O Zelinsky

Book: Z is for Moose
Author: Kelly Bingham
Illustrator: Paul O Zelinsky
Published: 2012
Source: Local Library

It’s an alphabet book like any other. A is for Apple, B is for Ball, C is for Cat . . . until a terribly impatient moose butts in line, asking when it will be his turn. He loses his temper entirely when they decide to go with “Mouse” instead (“Wait! No! That was supposed to be me! Moose! With an M!”) and rampages throughout the alphabet until his friend Zebra finds a way to include him after all.

Oh, did the kids get a kick out of this. As Mo Willem’s pigeon has proved, there’s enormous appeal in a protagonist losing all control, throwing first a temper tantrum and then sobbing heart-brokenly. (Yep. I’m an awful person.) The kids sympathized with his impatience, delighted in his terrible behavior, and smiled when he finally what he wanted: to be in the alphabet book. Paul Zelinsky’s is not only lovely, it’s brain-bending, playing with the traditional page boundaries to show Moose’s rampage.

Like the best picture books, this is a simple concept executed very, very well.

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