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CHOCOLATE MOOSE by Maggie Kneen

CHOCOLATE MOOSE

By Maggie Kneen (Author) , Maggie Kneen (Illustrator)

Age Range: 3 - 5

Pub Date: Jan. 20th, 2011
ISBN: 978-0-525-42202-0
Publisher: Dutton

A chocoholic moose misreads “mouse” on a help-wanted sign and ends up working at Mrs. Mouse’s bakery. A moose in a mouse-sized bakery is as welcome as a bull in a china shop, though. Moose continually makes messes and mistakes; incredibly, Mrs. Mouse is endlessly patient and is as clever as she is diplomatic, finally finding a solution by putting Moose to work as a babysitter. Despite the use of colorful onomatopoeia (“Slurp, gulp, burp!”) and overall silliness, the story is essentially bland and the illustrations confusing. The soft colors and lines give many things a charming, cuddly quality—in fact, Moose is portrayed as a stuffed toy—but the mice are all drawn realistically (in anthropomorphized, Beatrix Potter fashion). His sandwiches for the children are big enough for a moose yet he’s using equipment and supplies that are as tiny as mice. All his disasters are due to being oversized, but he somehow settles in a chair that is just right. The sweet message of friendship and sugary illustrations cannot overcome the book’s basic illogic. (Picture book. 3-5)