Review: A Moose That Says Moo by Jennifer Hamburg

moose that says moo

A Moose That Says Moo! by Jennifer Hamburg, illustrated by Sue Truesdell

Sitting near the laundry drying on the line, a little girl is reading books about animals.  She starts to think about having a zoo of her very own and what sorts of animals it would have.  It’s guaranteed that no other zoo has animals like hers!  There is a moose that says “moo,” bears that drive cars, tigers that swing in the trees, and sharks that read books.  At night, the animals have a big pillow fight that turns into one silly brawl with awakened goats, tap-dancing pigs that startle easily, tripping turtles, and even groundhogs that protest.  It will take one smart young girl to get everything put back together again even in this imaginary zoo.

Written in a rollicking rhyme, this book really celebrates the ridiculous and the silly.  Hamburg manages to create zoo animals with wild qualities that make the book a surprise on each page.  The result is a book that dances on the edge of losing control, but the firm hand Hamburg takes with the rhyme and rhythm keeps it within control and makes for a book that begs to be shared aloud.

Truesdell does an amazing job of managing to take all of the wild chaotic silliness of the book and turn it into illustrations that help it all make sense.  At the same time, she too revels in the silliness on the page and adds to it with small touches like a reading shark accidentally eating a book, the offer of many tissues to a sneezing tiger, and goggled bears in cars. 

Pure silliness, this book could merrily be wedged into many storytime themes.  Use it as a finisher since even antsy children will sit still for this wild ride.  Appropriate for ages 3-5.

Reviewed from copy received from Farrar, Straus and Giroux.