Thursday, December 11, 2014

Learning from Picture Books: This is a Moose

This book is so much fun! The publisher’s description calls it hilarious and I definitely agree. 

Here's the summary from Amazon:

Lights! Camera! Moose!

MOOSE? Yes, Moose! When a movie director tries to capture the life of a moose on film, he's in for a big surprise. It turns out the moose has a dream bigger then just being a moose--he wants to be an astronaut and go to the moon.

His forest friends step in to help him, and action ensues. Lots of action. Like a lacrosse-playing grandma, a gigantic slingshot into space, and a flying, superhero chipmunk.

In this hilarious romp, Richard T. Morris and bestselling illustrator Tom Lichtenheld remind us to dream big and, when we do, to aim for the moon.

This is a Moose, written by Richard T. Morris and illustrated by Tom Lichtenheld, was first published in 2014 by Little, Brown and Company.,

My thoughts as a writer:

This book is a conversation between a director (unseen for most of the story) and the narrator as well as the Moose and a couple of other animal characters. It’s a great concept that is executed with lots of humor and surprises. There were a lot of interesting characters, especially Grandma Moose. 

This book shows a real partnership between the work of the author, the illustrator and the book designer. The text that is told through speech bubbles changes color, size and font to reflect the emotions of the unseen director.

My thoughts as a teacher:

Children will love the humor in this book! There is a wonderful message about being persistent and following your own dreams, though the message is subtle and secondary to the fun. It also would provide an opportunity to talk about animals and how they are adapted for their own habitats.

A fun activity related to this book might be to have students create their own short story about an animal of their choice that doesn’t act as expected in their own movie (involving research about their animal to find out what it’s normal behaviour would be). Another idea might be to take one of the characters in the story and think about what its secret dream might be and write or draw a picture about it.

If you're looking for more great picture books to read to your class or to investigate as a writer, author Susanna Leonard Hill has a wonderful list of Perfect Picture Books.


  1. This sounds hilarious! I love the concept of a movie being made of a moose. And the cover is great too.

  2. I adore PBs with humor. By the expression on Moose's face, he needs some. ;)


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