cover image Duck, Duck, Moose!

Duck, Duck, Moose!

Sudipta Bardhan-Quallen, illus. by Noah Z. Jones. Disney-Hyperion, $16.99 (32p) ISBN 978-1-4231-7110-2

Klutzy moose cause all sorts of picture-book problems, from Z Is for Moose to Ernest, the Moose Who Doesn’t Fit, all the way back to If You Give a Moose a Muffin. In this story (not to be confused with Dave Horowitz’s 2009 story of the same name), two perfectionist ducks find their tidy house disrupted, repeatedly, by a large antlered fellow whose behavior suggests an impulsive kindergartner. By changing a consonant, Bardhan-Quallen (Pirate Princess) heightens the familiar suspense of the “duck, duck, goose” game; as two white ducks set the table or decorate a layer cake, readers await a crashing entrance by Moose, who demolishes a wall and splatters the dessert. Although written words are few, the story comes across in the punctuation and in Jones’s (Here Comes Trouble!) doodly digital art. Like disapproving parents, the ducks must send Moose away (they’re planning a surprise party for him); he sulks outside until the ducks apologize, enabling the book to conclude on a final slapstick note. Moose’s pratfalls provide short-term entertainment and an opportunity for dramatic read-aloud performances. Ages 3–5. Author’s agent: Rachel Orr, Prospect Agency. (Jan.)