cover image The Moogees Move House

The Moogees Move House

Leslie McGuirk. Candlewick, $14.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-7636-5558-7

Stories about moving are a dime a dozen, but not McGuirk’s; although the plot is straightforward, the hallucinatory strangeness of the cast and setting will leave an indelible, Moogee-shaped mark on readers. With yellow polka-dotted skin, curled snouts, and pronged tails resembling toy jacks, the Moogees look like the product of the psychedelic art movement. When they go in search of a new house with Mr. Ruru, the realtor, they have trouble finding the ideal fit. One house offers a yard full of bizarre statues and a free pet snail, seen leashed to an orange and blue tree. “This yard and snail are quite delightful,” says Mama Moogee, “but those statues are truly frightful” (she’s right, too: the expressions on the statues’ faces range from uncomfortable to psychotic). Of course, young readers will be most interested in screaming along with the three young Moogees, as they express their unintelligible opinion of each house: “Waa waa moogee doogee wee wee low lum!” Despite the willful weirdness, McGuirk’s (the Tucker series) story has a conventional “family first” message at its core. Annoyingly great or greatly annoying? Maybe some of both. Ages 3–6. (Nov.)