Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Picture Book Review – Z is for Moose – Kelly Bingham (Author) & Paul O. Zelinsky (Illustrator)

Picture Book Review – Z is for Moose – Kelly Bingham (Author) & Paul O. Zelinsky (Illustrator)

Suitable for Younger Readers/Toddlers

Oh, the joy that fills my heart and soul when I come across a new book that immediately makes it on to my top 10 of all time. Hello there, Z is for Moose, and welcome to the list!

I love books that have a bit of silliness to them, especially if they’re combined with over enthusiastic and/or grumpy animals. If you pick the wrong animals then the grumpy/enthusiastic thing wouldn’t work, but using a moose and a zebra is as inspired as telling a pigeon that it can’t drive a bus.

Presented as a simple story explaining the alphabet to young children, it quickly spirals into a tale of utter hilarity as a moose frequently tries to insert itself into the relevant object for each letter. A zebra (dressed as a referee) tries his best to prevent the moose from causing too much damage, but with varying levels of success. Poor moose – will he see himself represented in the alphabet by the end?

I laughed out loud like a drain when I first read this (I really should practice what I preach when it comes to noise in libraries), as did three of my colleagues, and within seconds an e-mail had gone round to several more demanding that they order it in to read themselves. It’s one of the best examples that I’ve seen of an artist’s illustrations turning the author’s already brilliant idea and script into something on the very highest levels of picture book greatness. It’s the sort of idea that Mo Willems, Jon Klassen and Oliver Jeffers would come up with, and I can’t offer it any higher praise than that.

I’ll be insisting on people reading this for a LOOOOOOOONG time to come. That includes you, dear reader. Read it. NOW.

10/10 & entry into Bertass’ ‘Picture Book Hall of Fame’ (link coming shortly)

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