A sudden burst of magic brings surprising changes for a family of moose in debut author Bogen’s wacky picture book.
Life turns upside down for a mild-mannered family of moose when the appearance of a double rainbow disrupts an ordinary meal. Before they know it, a magical magazine has been hurled into their midst, and the unassuming moose are shocked to find themselves standing upright on two legs. Even more shocking, they’re suddenly aware of their lack of clothing; they need to find something to wear, pronto, and a series of costume changes follows. It’s up to the Moose family to establish a town—if only they can find the right clothes first! The quirky, creative premise offers plenty of potential, but the decision to focus solely on the Moose family’s quest for clothing leaves the story feeling underdeveloped, since their magical transformation and search for clothes feel like the beginnings of a longer story rather than a story in its own right. Many of the twists feel sudden and poorly explained; the arrival of an exploding magical magazine, for example, is never elaborated upon or given any further link to the story. The colorful, cartoonish illustrations are sure to be a draw, particularly given the narrative’s sense of visual humor. Children will be happy to giggle along with moose dressed up as igloos and French toast. The sense of humor goes slightly awry, however: the repeated motif of unclothed moose covering themselves with strategically placed leaves and butterflies is likely to draw more giggles and attention than the story itself. Readers drawn to the colorful characters will have to hope Bogen chooses to develop her characters’ adventures into a more satisfying series.
Upbeat and inventive but underdeveloped.