Ernest the Moose Who Doesn’t Fit

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Ernest, the Moose Who Doesn’t Fit by Catherine Rayner

Ernest has a problem, he doesn’t fit into the book!  He tries to shuffle in forward, but that doesn’t work.  He tries to squeeze in backward.  Nope.  He can get his middle to fit, but not his legs or head.  Luckily, Ernest has a small friend with a big idea.  It’s just going to take some tape and some paper.  They work for a long time until…  Well, you will just have to read it to find out how they manage to fit Ernest into his book.  Children will respond to the visual puzzle of how to get Ernest to fit into the book.  The final unveiling is definitely worth the suspense and build up.

Rayner has created a very simple book that is filled with a gentle humor.  The process of problem solving is played out here, from the issue itself through trial and error, and finally the brilliant solution!  It is a book that also demonstrations creativity and perseverance.  Rayner’s illustrations are charming mix of media with paint, crayon and paper arts.  The background to the illustrations is graph paper giving a great mathematical and structural feel to the whimsical art.  It is a dynamic pairing.

A great book to share with a group, this book will have everyone cheering Ernest and his friend and their solution to how to fit a big moose in a small book.  Appropriate for ages 4-7.

Reviewed from copy received from Farrar, Straus and Giroux.