cover image Moosetache


Margie Palatini. Hyperion Books, $15.95 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-7868-0306-4

No matter how Moose braids, coils and nets his wiry ""moosetache,"" he winds up with a hair don't. His Rapunzel-length locks snag his ankles, dangle from his antlers and sometimes obscure his face altogether. ""Then, call it fate, call it destiny (it was probably dumb luck), but one day Moose tripped on his moosetache and just had no time to duck."" He crashes into the female moose of his dreams, who teaches him to glue his 'stache into manageable twirls. In the suitably sappy finale, the moose twosome vows to stick together through ""Good hair days. Bad hair days."" The exact nuances of Palatini's (Piggie Pie!) wordplay might elude preschoolers, but the fun is unmistakable: ""Moose was in a frizzy tizzy. The moosetache was completely crimping his style."" She uses rhyme and alliteration without sticking to a predictable rhythm (""He simply could not flambe his souffle with all of those whiskers in the way""), and invents numerous knotty hair dilemmas. Cole (Four Fabulous Foxes and Fosdyke) exaggerates Moose's whiskers and aggrieved facial expressions; meanwhile, key words appear in bold font and sentences reel irrepressibly across the pages. The text and illustrations exude bouncy energy, but the piece de resistance is on the back cover: a ""My Moosetache"" mirrored surface allows readers to see themselves with a furry handlebar mustache. Ages 2-5. (Mar.)