Friday, November 6, 2015

Learning from Picture Books -- THIS MOOSE BELONGS TO ME

An interesting story that hits on an issue I see a lot of in my kindergarten class – what if your friend doesn't go along with what you want to do?

Summary from

Wilfred is a boy with rules. He lives a very orderly life. It's fortunate, then, that he has a pet who abides by rules, such as not making noise while Wilfred educates him on his record collection. There is, however, one rule that Wilfred's pet has difficulty following: Going whichever way Wilfred wants to go. Perhaps this is because Wilfred's pet doesn't quite realize that he belongs to anyone.

A moose can be obstinate in such ways.

Fortunately, the two manage to work out a compromise. Let's just say it involves apples.

This Moose Belongs to Me was written and illustrated by Oliver Jeffers. It was published by Philomel Books in 2012.

My Thoughts as a Writer:

I really loved the way Wilfred’s rules became part of the story. The scene where Wilfred claims the moose really shows Wilfred’s personality. This a great example of a picture book where the story told in the illustrations is different and even opposite to the one told by the text.  

Using real paintings as a backdrop in the illustrations layered with a more modern digital techiques was interested. I loved the way Wilfred’s clothing and bowtie fit with his somewhat rigid view of the moose and their relationship at the beginning of the story.

My Thoughts as a Teacher:

This book would be a good one for introducing a discussion about compromise, how friends may have different expectations about play, and how an individual cannot control another person’s behavior. It would also be wonderful for discussing the relationship between humans and wild animals.  

Themes: nature, compromise, friendship

Ages: 4 – 8

Grades: K- grade 3

Follow-Up Activities:
  • Make a list of  ways that the moose does and does not act like a “pet”, or the way Wilfred expected.
  • What do you think of Wilfred’s rules? Discuss. Create you own list of rules for having a pet.
  • Do some research about moose. Where do they live? What do they eat?
  • Draw a picture or write about your favorite page in the story.
  • Paint a landscape that shows the habitat for your favorite animal.

To find more great picture books to read or to use in your classroom, visit author Susanna Leonard Hill's website for her theme-based summary of Perfect Picture Books posted by book-loving bloggers on Perfect Picture Book Friday.


  1. This is a great choice and I like how you'd use the idea that you can't control another person and the theme of compromise. Your activities are excellent. Sounds like a fun classroom book.

  2. I love how bizarre and yet completely coherent in child logic, so many of Jeffers' stories are!

  3. Love this one. I should learn more about moose in the real world! Thanks for the reminder/suggestion.

  4. Such a wonderful book - and what an idea: that a moose could belong to anyone!

  5. I have this book! All of Oliver Jeffers' books appeal to me. So zany and fun. Your classroom must be a fun place for learning.


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