cover image It’s a Moose!

It’s a Moose!

Meg Rosoff, illus. by David Ercolini. Putnam, $17.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-399-16664-8

The new baby is adorable, but unlike the rest of his human family, he’s also a moose—with tiny antlers, a big brown nose, and “four perfect hooves.” Nevertheless, the family’s love is instant and unconditional: “I felt sad for the other babies. They all looked the same,” says the narrator, his older sister, as they leave the hospital. When passersby stare and point, she asserts, “they wish they had a baby like ours.” But unconditional love also means doing what’s best for their “baby” when the growing moose can no longer live a human life—when the house begins to feel too small, and the creature sings sad songs night after night. In a circuitous route across a double spread, the family travels to the mountainous woods, and after sniffing and tasting the new place, the moose gallops away with a new moose friend. Rosoff (the McTavish series) and Ercolini (Not Inside This House!) start with a goofy what-if—the improbable digitized tempera vignettes and the moose’s Harpo-like reactions are designed to elicit giggles—but deepen their story into something much more: one about how loving families stick together, embrace radical acceptance, and know when to let go. Ages 3–7. [em](Apr.) [/em]