The link may be tenuous but both these picture books are lovely, written & illustrated by stellar talents, and include a moose plus gorgeous natural backdrops…
This Moose Belongs To Me: Oliver Jeffers (HarperCollins Children’s Books, 2012)
Somehow, this is only Oliver Jeffers tenth picture book. And although his style is distinct, and the books (the ones I’ve read anyhow) share a surrealism that just works, every one is so very different. This Moose Belongs to Me is a complete contrast to his last book The Hueys in The New Jumper, being full of colour and detail where the previous book was minimalistic.
Wilfred owned a moose. At least, Wilfred thought he owned a moose. The moose had other ideas. In fact, the moose is just himself getting along with his life while others try to stamp ideas of ownership and rules onto him. These rules can’t contain nature and the moose carries on doing moose things in a beautiful landscape.
On the one hand, a beautiful and deep tale; on the other, a lightly surreal and humourous picture book. It works on many levels, or you can just drool over the beautiful painted landscapes.
Oliver Jeffers has the kind of talent where you’d probably buy his shopping list if he published it, knowing that it wouldn’t be quite what you expected and probably gorgeously illustrated to boot!
A House In The Woods: Inga Moore (Walker, 2011)
This book is a slice of utter perfection, gorgeously illustrated and beautifully observed. There are too many details to love so my review will not do it the slightest justice, it really is a must-own book.
Two little pigs build a house of… Ooops, no, it’s not that story! But it does start with two little pigs – one builds a den, and one builds a hut. Except when they have unexpected (but friendly, and very welcome) visitors in the form of bear and moose who accidentally wreck their homes, the four friends set out to build their own house with the help of the beavers (because it’s too complex a job just for them). In two double spreads with minimal words and lots of picture, the beavers are shown felling trees (cue a conversation about how beavers use their teeth from a curious MG) and start to build (cue more discussion about how they’re cutting the leaves off to use the tree trunks, and yet more on house building – MG was really engaged by the themes in this book).
It is a perfect book for MG at the moment because her school has forest school sessions so she’s built dens in the woods with her friends, and their last half-term theme was homes so she’s been talking about types of houses (detached, terrace etc) and eras (“is it a Victorian house?”) and building their own houses from shoeboxes…
This is a lovely, non-threatening, friendly and co-operative story with lots of interest points to start discussions (“that’s a funny looking phone…”) It’s set in the anthropomorphic equivalent of times gone by, and we all love it. Highly recommended.
Disclaimer: We were sent a copy of This Moose Belongs to Me by HarperCollins Children’s Books for review. No other financial reward was given and the opinions are my own. I was not asked to write this post.