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Z IS FOR MOOSE by Kelly Bingham Kirkus Star


by Kelly Bingham & illustrated by Paul O. Zelinsky

Age Range: 4 - 6

Pub Date: March 1st, 2012
ISBN: 978-0-06-079984-7
Publisher: Greenwillow

A wry twist on an alphabet story makes for laugh-out-loud fun.

Poor Moose. He tries to get into the alphabetic act on every letter page from D to L, but Zebra, who’s directing the assemblage, insists it’s not his turn yet and that he must move off the page. When it IS time for M, Zebra decides to go with Mouse, and Moose flips his antlers—well, his lid. Zebra tries to console the despondent moose, telling him he can still be in the book even though the only letter left is Z. Solution? Z becomes “Zebra’s friend, Moose.” How perfect that Z-elinsky is the illustrator. His often-elegant style turns comedic here, with brightly colored borders framing each letter in a simple scene. The borders become a design device for Moose, as he pokes his head over the edges or stomps the scene within angrily. In others, Moose tries to camouflage himself, as when he squeezes behind an Ice-cream cone or hitchhikes a ride in the Kangaroo’s pouch. Dialogue balloons express Moose’s eagerness, asking, “Now?” and declaring (mistakenly), “Here it comes!” Zebra, wearing a referee’s black-and-white striped shirt and carrying a clipboard, answers, “NO, not yet!” Kids who are learning their ABCs or have just learned them will find this hysterical, and it has great potential for storytimes.

Just label it F for funny. (Picture book. 4-6)