This Moose Belongs to Me

Oliver Jeffers, Author, Oliver Jeffers, Illustrator
Oliver Jeffers. Philomel, $16.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-399-16103-2
Hardcover - 32 pages - 978-0-00-726387-5
Hardcover - 32 pages - 978-0-00-749248-0
Hardcover - 32 pages - 978-986-189-370-9
Paperback - 978-0-399-16137-7
Hardcover - 32 pages - 978-0-00-748692-2
Hardcover - 32 pages - 978-0-00-747329-8
Hardcover - 32 pages - 978-0-00-726390-5
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It won’t take readers long to see that Wilfred has moose problems. He tries hard to make Marcel the moose obey his many rules (“Rule 7 [subsection b]: Maintaining a certain proximity to home”), but Marcel is only vaguely interested in Wilfred. What he really likes are apples. Wilfred’s role as moose owner is further cast into doubt when a random old lady greets Marcel as Rodrigo. “You’re back!” she cries. (Marcel reacts warmly, but only because she has an apple.) Eventually, Wilfred is able to recognize Marcel’s independence; it’s a useful and unexpectedly heartwarming lesson in lowered expectations. Nervous Wilfred is dressed in a geeky bowtie and suspenders, while Marcel is the size of a garden shed, with antlers like towel racks. What really ups the ante are Jeffers’s (Stuck) incongruously grandiose backdrops. Wilfred’s struggle plays out against dawn-kissed mountain ranges, brooding spruces, and sweeping American plains, giving the proceedings an air of faux-solemn dignity that’s hilariously at odds with Wilfred’s dorky personality. The moose may not belong to Wilfred, but the laughs certainly belong to Jeffers. Ages 3–7. (Nov.)
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