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.)
Reviewed on: 10/22/2012 Release date: 11/13/2012 Genre: Children's
During the Covid-19 crisis, Publishers Weekly is providing free digital access to our magazine, archive, and website. To receive the access to the latest issue delivered to your inbox free each week, enter your email below.