Reviews for Z Is for Moose

Booklist Reviews 2012 January #1
*Starred Review* This laugh-out-loud romp of an abecedary features an impatient moose who just can't wait for his turn. There is something intrinsically funny about moose (the art has a Bullwinkle feel), and this overenthusiastic one prematurely pops up onstage at D, wearing a proud grin, with hapless Duck having been pushed out of the way. Zebra (sporting a referee's black-striped shirt) leaps out from the corner, shouting, "Moose? No. Moose does not start with D. You are on the wrong page." Moose then wanders onto Elephant's page, Fox and Glove are forced to share a stage, and then Moose's irrepressibly excited mug plops down from the ceiling, obscuring Hat: "Is it my turn yet?" Basically, he is like an antsy kid anticipating his big star turn at M, only to be heartbroken when Mouse is given that letter's starring role. Zebra, though frustrated, is not deaf to Moose's offstage sobbing (look to the title for his resolution to the problem). Ideal for kids who are past struggling to learn the alphabet and who will fully get the humor in Moose's goofy antics. Copyright 2012 Booklist Reviews.

Horn Book Guide Reviews 2012 Fall
In this funny, inventive ABC, an orderly procession of letters begins, but at D, overly eager Moose pushes Duck off the stage. Though referee Zebra says it's not his turn, Moose breaks into every page, asking, "Now?" When M is for Mouse, he has a major temper tantrum; finally, Z is for Zebra's friend, Moose. Zelinsky's zany cartoon style is perfect for Moose's antics.

Horn Book Magazine Reviews 2012 #2
If you think you've seen every possible idea for an alphabet book played out, think again. Even before the title page of this very funny and inventive ABC, cast members Apple, Ball, Cat, Duck, Elephant, Fox, Glove, etc., begin lining up to be checked in by Zebra, cleverly dressed as a referee. We get just a hint of things to come as our protagonist, Moose, jumps for joy in anticipation of his big moment in the spotlight. The orderly procession begins, and all goes smoothly -- A is for Apple, B is for Ball, C is for Cat -- until we get to D and find that Moose has pushed Duck off the stage in his eagerness. He apologizes and blushes after the zebra tells him it's not yet his turn, but then he breaks into everyone else's page, asking, "Now?" until we finally get to M, which turns out to be for…Mouse. This causes a major temper tantrum as Moose knocks all the other letter representatives off their pages, smashes Pie all over Queen, draws antlers on Ring and Snake, and finally begins to cry (appropriately, next to V for Violin). Zebra feels such sympathy for Moose (as will the reader) that he allows him to take over his page, so that Z is for Zebra's friend, Moose. The pages prior to Moose's tantrum are funny for the ways in which Moose insinuates himself into each picture: hiding behind an ice-cream cone, appearing on a jam jar label, popping his head out of a kangaroo's pouch. In the tantrum itself, the visual humor gets more sophisticated as Moose disrupts the alphabet by smashing, stomping on, and revising whole lines of text. You can barely read "Q is for Queen," for example, since the letters lie in mangled little piles at the bottom of the page. Zelinsky's zany cartoon style is perfect for Moose's antics, both before and after the letter M. kathleen t. horning Copyright 2012 Horn Book Magazine Reviews.

Kirkus Reviews 2012 January #2
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) Copyright Kirkus 2012 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

Publishers Weekly Reviews 2012 January #3

Move over, Interrupting Chicken. In Bingham (Shark Girl) and Zelinsky's droll alphabet book, Moose expects to own the letter M, and he cannot contain his enthusiasm and impatience. As a polite Apple, Ball, Cat and others take their turns, the clownish Moose barges in. He pushes Duck out of the way, annoys Elephant, and pops out of Kangaroo's pouch (a startled joey asks, "Mommy, who is that?"). Readers accustomed to the usual list of letters will be giggling with suspense by the time "L is for Lollipop" rolls around. "Here it comes!" chortles Moose, anticipating his M. Unfortunately, a serious-minded Zebra, who directs the alphabet and wears a referee shirt over his own stripes, has other ideas. Mayhem ensues as Moose throws a tantrum, stomping and scribbling on Pie, Queen, and Ring, and then sniffling as Zebra tries to protect Umbrella, Whale, and Xylophone. Zelinsky (Dust Devil) frames the pages as a conventional alphabet book, setting Moose loose on the staged setting. He and Bingham craft a witty meta-abecedary, disrupting the predictable ABCs and reveling in Moose's antics. Ages 3-7. (Mar.)

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School Library Journal Reviews 2012 March

PreS-Gr 2--This zany alphabet book will make children smile. Zebra, dressed in a referee's shirt and cap, acts as director of the book project, assigning appropriate objects or animals to represent each letter. Zebra's endeavor begins peacefully enough with "A is for Apple." Next comes "B is for Ball," and then "C is for Cat." Each animal or object cooperatively poses center stage on the neatly designed page, featuring a bright border and the letter of the moment displayed in colored print. When Zebra reaches "D," his orderly alphabetical display is disrupted by the overeager Moose, who lopes onto the page, displacing the Duck. Zebra rages at the hapless Moose, who then slinks onto "E's" page, bumping into the chagrined Elephant. Zebra struggles to proceed through the alphabet letter by letter as Moose continues to interrupt. To Moose's shock and dismay, Zebra decides to go with "M is for Mouse." He rampages throughout the rest of the alphabet ruining each entry while Zebra protests. When Moose finally breaks down in tears, Zebra relents. He allows Moose to appear on the last page of the book. "Z is for Zebra's friend, Moose." The amusing alphabetical adventure is told through hilarious mixed-media illustrations and dialogue bubbles. Unexpected details like Moose hiding in Kangaroo's pocket will delight young readers. Pair this title with Susan Heyboer O'Keefe's equally amusing Hungry Monster ABC (Little, Brown, 2007) or Tasha Tudor's more sedate A Is for Annabelle (S & S, 2001).--Linda L. Walkins, Mount Saint Joseph Academy, Brighton, MA

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