cover image A Is for Musk Ox

A Is for Musk Ox

Erin Cabatingan, illus. by Matthew Myers. Roaring Brook/Porter, $16.99 (40p) ISBN 978-1-59643-676-3

Close on the heels of Z Is for Moose, another M animal%E2%80%94a musk ox%E2%80%94monopolizes the alphabet. As in the earlier book, a hapless zebra tries to maintain an orderly alphabet. In this case, though, the megalomaniacal musk ox dominates, teasing his opponent like a pushy older sibling and offering reasons (some better than others) why musk oxen can represent every letter. After eating the letter-A Apple, the ox proclaims, "musk oxen are awesome! Plus, we live in the Arctic, which includes some of Alaska." A baby is displaced by the "brown and black" of ox fur, and a clown shivers on the tundra while the musk ox claims "cool" and "Canada, too." Debut author Cabatingan has an able collaborator in Myers (Tyrannosaurus Dad), who pictures the golden-blond ox as outwardly mellow, at least until the zebra rejects "kool" for K ("Fine. K is for musk ox because musk oxen like to kick anyone who disagrees with them"). Where the moose book is breathlessly zany, this ABC succeeds thanks to its hero's unstoppable swagger. Ages 5%E2%80%938. Agent: Nancy Gallt Literary Agency. Illustrator's agent: Steven Malk, Writers House. (Oct.)