________________ CM . . . . Volume XVII Number 32. . . .April 22, 2011



Robert Munsch. Illustrated by Michael Martchenko.
Toronto, ON: North Winds Press/Scholastic Canada, 2011.
32 pp., hardcover, $19.99.
ISBN 978-1-4431-0717-4.

Preschool-grade 3 / Ages 4-9.

Review by Claire Perrin.

**** /4



In the latest story by Canada's most popular storyteller, a very large moose wanders into Luke's backyard early one Saturday morning. In shock, Luke runs inside to inform his parents who are sound asleep. Both of his parents try unsuccessfully to scare the moose away. Luke tries luring the moose away with carrots. Finally, Luke's three sisters try to scare the moose away with water guns. During this ordeal, Luke decides that he likes the moose and wants him to live in his treehouse. Running from the water guns, the moose makes its way into the kitchen, helps himself to carrots, and then disappears out the front door. Dismayed, Luke grabs the remaining carrots and runs after the moose.

First Luke's mother chased the moose around the yard.

Then the moose chased Luke's mother around the yard.

Then the moose ate the broom.

"This is not working" said Luke.

"Luke!" said his father. "Get me a hose."

"Do you mean a little hose for chasing away birdies?" said Luke.

"No!" said his father.

"Do you mean a medium-sized hose for chasing away bunny rabbits?" said Luke.

"NO!" said his father.

"You don't mean a LARGE, ENORMOUS HOSE for chasing away cute moosies?" said Luke.

"YES!" said his father.

internal art     Although just recently published, this story has been in Munsch's repertoire since 1987. He frequently tells this story to groups of children, sometimes substituting a raccoon or a buffalo for the moose. In previous retellings of Moose, Munsch had the father asking for a gun instead of a hose, which did not always go over well with his audience. According to Munsch's website, Scholastic agreed to publish the story once the gun detail had been removed. Like many of his stories, Munsch's idea for the main character is based on a real Luke from Nova Scotia who wrote to him asking for a story about his treehouse.

      This story contains many of Robert Munsch's trademark sound effects that make it a great read-aloud: snoring, shouting and crunching carrots. The audience is drawn into the action of the story with exciting verbs such as "whapping," squirting, and chasing. Many simple phrases and events are repeated throughout the story, allowing listeners to make predictions and join in with the story. Exaggeration and word choices such as "moosie" and "bunny rabbits" add to the humour.

      As always, Michael Martchenko's illustrations are hilarious. The moose is larger than life and is made to look particularly huge when sitting on Luke's parents. Martchenko shows what the characters are feeling with their exaggerated facial expressions. The final illustration reveals the end of the story which is not provided in the story: Luke catches up to the moose, and they enjoy a basket of carrots together.

      Munsch and Martchenko have once again combined their unique styles in this story with a decidedly Canadian flavour.

Highly Recommended.

Claire Perrin is a teacher-librarian with the Toronto District School Board in Toronto, ON.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

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