Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Making the Moose Out of Life


Who doesn't love a contemplative moose?  Actually, those round, glassy eyes make him look more neurotic than contemplative, don't they? I guess he is a little bit neurotic. After all, he's a moose who lives in the wild that doesn't act wild at all.  That is a bit odd.

While his friends beaver and black bear cavort happily, the moose always hangs back. Ha, it cracks me up that the animals aren't wearing clothing, but do have skis and patterned winter scarves! The moose prefers to take a prudent approach, keeping dry under his umbrella while his friends stomp in puddles, shivering near a snowbank while they slalom down. Sometimes he feels he might be missing out on something, but he can't quite put his hoof on exactly what that is.

Suddenly it occurs to the moose that he needs to grab life by the antlers! He straps on a life jacket and hops onto a sailboat drifting by. The moose sets sail on an amazing adventure, ending up stranded on a desert island. Instead of being paralyzed by fear, he makes the best of things. He builds a shelter, tracks down his own food, and makes a new friend.

The moose is making the best of life on an island, when a cruise ship appears on the horizon.  The moose tearfully bids his tortoise friend adieu and again sets sail. This time he adapts to the life of a cruise goer, playing shuffleboard and grazing at the buffet.  When the ship arrives home, the moose is reunited with his old friends.  But he is not the same old moose. This moose will no longer remain on the sidelines, but will continue to grab life by the antlers!    

So the morale of the story is pretty obvious, but that doesn't make it any less true!  The moose shows us that it can be fun to step outside our comfort zones and try new things. Plus, the illustrations are just hilarious. My personal favorites: the beaver puddle jumping with the bear, the moose climbing for coconuts, and the moose and tortoise holding hands. But so many pages are super funny, that it was actually hard to pick.   

Author Nicholas Oldland also wrote Big Bear Hug, where the moose plays a cameo role.  Does that mean we can look for the next book to be about the beaver?  Man, I hope so.  

Review copy provided by Kids Can Press.

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