Moose Baby by Meg Rosoff
|Moose Baby by Meg Rosoff|
|Category: Dyslexia Friendly|
|Reviewer: Margaret Young|
|Summary: Juno meets Bullwinkle in this dyslexia friendly comedy of teenage pregnancy which addresses very real and serious issues in a light-hearted manner.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 144||Date: March 2013|
|Publisher: Barrington Stoke|
|External links: Author's website|
Jess is a pretty average teenage mother - except for one thing. Instead of giving birth to a normal little girl as she was expecting, she ends up delivering a 23lb moose calf by C-Section. It seems there has been a cluster of non homo-sapien births to human mothers. For some unexplained reason, a number of women have given birth to animals - mostly moose. Jess feels confident she can cope with the trials and tribulations of teenage parenthood. She can handle the midwives' harsh looks, her mother's disappointment and her boyfriend's parents' disapproval. But giving birth to a moose instead of a human may be more than any mother can adjust to.
Admittedly, this is a very strange premise for a story, but it quickly becomes obvious that the author was onto something with this novel idea. Using a moose instead of a human child allows the author to delve into some of the most negative emotions that can take place after an unplanned pregnancy without judgement. It allows the main character to express her feelings in a far more open and realistic manner, without the need to cover up the raw emotion with social correctness. It also gives a bit of comedy to what could be a very bleak situation. Finally, it expresses some of the feelings that parents of all ages may feel when the child they end up with isn't the child they were expecting.
None of us will actually give birth to animal. But all parents have hopes and dreams for their children before birth, and at times, some may find these dreams must be set aside. No one dreams of giving birth to a child with severe disabilities, but through all the challenges and heartache, some will find new dreams to latch onto. I had some serious reservations going into this book. I can't say that the idea of a story about a human giving birth to a moose really appealed to me. But once I started reading, I was hooked. This was a very courageous move by the author and has resulted in a book that tackles some of the most difficult subjects imaginable in a very positive manner. I have spoken to young people who were deeply ashamed to express feelings like those Jess had for her baby. I feel that this book allows these feelings to be addressed in an open and non-judgemental manner.
Jess is very likable, plucky character, full of life and self confidence. She never really descends into the 'why me' scenario. Her boyfriend Nick is kind and supportive and her Mother, while not happy about the pregnancy soon falls in love with her grandchild - or grandmoose. Jess expresses feelings that are actually quite common to many teenage parents. She starts off thinking there must be some mistake - the baby can't really be hers. She feels resentment as everyone else makes a fuss over her beautiful baby, whom she just can not warm to. The patronising, smiling midwife makes her feel worse. Things just become more difficult as the moose grows - and he really grows.
By four months Moosie is 85 kilos and still growing. Jess does come to love him, but it is difficult seeing all of the things that make her child different from others, thinking of all the things he will never be able to do. And then there are the things she can't so as well. She planned to go back to school when the baby was old enough but where can you find child care for a moose? Her whole life now revolves around this strange creature, and she does feel angry at times. Who wouldn't? Jess finally reaches breaking point when Moosie is two years old. This is sexually mature for a moose, and this creates a whole new range of problems. What should they do. Keep him or give him up? The ending was a very pleasant one that I never would have guessed at.
Moose Baby is part of Barrington Stoke's line of books written specifically for children with dyslexia. These books follow all of the guidelines of the British Dyslexia Association for dyslexia-friendly text. Working with a team of experts in the field, Barrington Stoke have developed their own font which is especially designed to make reading as easy as possible for children with dyslexia. They also print all of their books on a thick, off white, non-glare paper to minimise distractions which can make reading more difficult. The print is large and double spaced, with short chapters and short stories created to build confidence. The stories are commissioned by Barrington Stoke, usually from very well known authors, and are written to appeal to older children, but at a much lower reading level than the interest level. This book is listed as an interest age level of teen with a reading age of nine.
If this book appeals then we can also recommend:
You can read more book reviews or buy Moose Baby by Meg Rosoff at Amazon.co.uk.
You can read more book reviews or buy Moose Baby by Meg Rosoff at Amazon.com.
Like to comment on this review?
Just send us an email and we'll put the best up on the site.