Review: Z Is for Moose by Kelly Bingham

z is for moose

Z Is for Moose by Kelly Bingham, illustrated by Paul O. Zelinsky

If you are looking for an alphabet book with more than a bit of nonsense, this is the one for you!  I happen to be a huge fan of alphabet books that play around, add humor and have plenty of twists.  If you are looking for a straight-forward ABC book, the title alone should be enough to have you looking elsewhere.  For those of you as silly as I am, continue on!  Zebra is in charge of the ABCs happening in the right order on stage.  Unfortunately, Moose doesn’t want to wait his turn.  He enters on D, knocking Duck away, messes up Elephant’s entrance too, gets his head in the way for Hat, pops out of the pocket for Kangaroo, and continues to be silly for Lollipop too.  But the insult truly comes when they decide to go with M is for… Mouse.  Now Moose is upset and rampages through P and Q, drawing scribbles on R and S.  Zebra tries to stop him, but ends up messing things up himself until the happy ending at Z. 

Bingham’s writing is filled with asides from the different animals.  The book is extremely funny, the pacing is brilliant, and the twists are unexpected.  There is a great tension built up as the letter M approaches, and then with the twist, it is pure genius. 

Zelinsky’s illustrations add to the mad gaiety of the book.  Moose is obnoxious but also charming, his emotions clear on his face.  The reaction of Moose as M passes him by is delightful, the rampage of destruction is great fun, and his scribbling is clever. 

It is clear that this is a book that was pure fun to create, since that is apparent on every page.  Impossible to read without laughing and grinning, this is an alphabet book that is sure to delight.  Appropriate for ages 4-6.

Reviewed from library copy.

Review: Moonlight by Helen V. Griffith


Moonlight by Helen V. Griffith, illustrated by Laura Dronzek

Rabbit waits for the moon to appear out of the cloudy skies, but leaves a bit too soon to see the moon emerge.  The moon shines its buttery light into space and onto the earth.  It covers the mountains, the trees, enters the water, and even enters Rabbit’s burrow, making his dreams fill with the light.  He wakes up, leaves his burrow and dances in the field with the butter of the moon on his head.  

This picture book is a poetic look at moonlight as butter, continuing the metaphor throughout the book.  While some may quibble about moonlight being as yellow and thick as butter, there are nights where the light is so yellow that it almost has a weight.  Those full moon nights are buttery and rich, filled with that light that is so very different than sunlight.  Griffith embraces the metaphor entirely, enriching moonlight with her buttery idea. 

Dronzek’s illustrations really make the metaphor work in the book.  Readers can see the butter of the light as it coats the entire forest.  They can see it coat Rabbit and his dreams, along with the flowers, grass and the entire world.  She has chosen her yellow with care, selecting a color that skims between butter and moonlight. 

A bedtime book that embraces butter, this book could be used to teach about metaphor or could be used with even very small children as a solid bedtime read.  Expect hunger for buttery pancakes in the morning!  Appropriate for ages 2-4.

Reviewed from library copy.