This Moose Belongs To Me by Oliver Jeffers
|This Moose Belongs To Me by Oliver Jeffers|
|Category: For Sharing|
|Reviewer: Anne Thompson|
|Summary: A beautifully illustrated book by prize-winning author Oliver Jeffers, this is a quirky but thought provoking read about ownership and friendship.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 32||Date: August 2012|
|Publisher: Harper Collins Children’s Books|
|External links: Author's website|
Longlisted for the CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal 2013
Wilfred owns a moose. His moose’s name is Marcel and most of the time Marcel follows Wilfred’s rather lengthy rules on how to be the perfect pet. However some of the rules are rather too demanding for an independent moose and Marcel develops a tendency to take Wilfred on very long walks. One day on a particularly lengthy walk they meet an old lady who greets Marcel enthusiastically, Rodrigo! You’re back! Does the moose really belong to Wilfred? How can he prove that Marcel is his perfect pet?
Wilfred is an extremely organised little boy and he works hard at organising his moose too. The rather aloof Marcel obeys some of the rules beautifully and is particularly good at Rule 11: providing shelter from the rain. The amusing illustration for this rule was the favourite page of the children that I read the book to. However the moose is not quite so good at Rule 7: going whichever way Wilfred wants to go and it is breaking this rule that causes problems for Wilfred. The two of them then have to work out some sort of compromise to resolve the tricky situation. The artwork in this latest title by Oliver Jeffers is slightly different from his earlier work in that his usual minimalist style is set against lush landscapes of mountains and forests. The author manages to convey a multitude of emotions in the deceptively simple pictures of Wilfred and these deserve a close look.
When I first read the book I wondered if young children would understand both the book’s message and in fact some of the vocabulary. Also the pictures, although stunning, do not at first glance appear especially child-friendly. It was interesting to watch the six year old children I shared this book with, for as I read the story they were completely engrossed in the pictures themselves. This, I suppose, is the strength of a really good picture book – so much of the story is conveyed in the illustrations. After I finished they wanted to talk about Marcel and his other owners. Reading this book provides the opportunity to talk about whether any of us really own anything, man’s attitude to wild animals and, of course, the friendship between a child and a much loved pet. Over several readings this book has really grown on me and I think that it would do the same for young readers too.
My thanks to Harper Collins for sending a copy of this book to the Bookbag.
If this has made you want to read another picture book by this author try The Way Back Home. If you are looking for a story to share with young children about an equally unusual pet perhaps How to Hide a Lion by Helen Stephens would fit the bill.
You can read more book reviews or buy This Moose Belongs To Me by Oliver Jeffers at Amazon.co.uk
You can read more book reviews or buy This Moose Belongs To Me by Oliver Jeffers at Amazon.com.
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