I know, I know, moose doesn’t actually start with Z, but you didn’t think I could make it through the whole month without featuring an alphabet picture book, did you? And Moose has been waiting all month to make an appearance- you don’t realize how disappointed he was when M was for Miss Piggy.

Z Is for Moose by Kelly Bingham is a hilarious book, maybe not the best introductory alphabet book, but a whole lot of fun. I think it would be best for kids who more or less already know the alphabet and are ready to play with it. Zebra is putting on an alphabet show, with all kinds of animals and things like ice cream and a xylophone, and poor Moose is just too anxious for his turn. He tries to be on stage for D, gets inside the ice cream cone on I, and sticks his head in at H is for hat. Each time he is told by Zebra that no, it’s not his turn. And then M is for Mouse, and Moose runs amok, stepping in the pie, knocking the queen off her throne, scribbling on the snake. By Y, Moose is just so sad he’s not going to be in the book, but Zebra tells him it’s not too late: Z is for Zebra’s friend, Moose.

I think the charm in this one, for me, is that it takes the standard rather boring ABC book and shakes it up. It actually has a plot. The illustrations by Paul O. Zelinksy , with some additions by Moose, are cute and bright, and by the end I felt bad for over-eager, pushy Moose. He just wants to be included, and I was glad it had a happy ending. It ends up being a heart-warming little story.

I can also see it as a good discussion book to share with preschool/ early elementary kids. It could lead to talks about how it would feel to be moose, to feel like you were being left out. Or what to do if your friend’s feelings get hurt.

It’s a book I would have enjoyed sharing with Amber when she was younger.

4 out of 5 stars

Category: Picture Book- Alphabet

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Published February 28, 2012 by HarperCollins Children’s
32 pages

The A to Z Challenge is hosted at its own blog.

Book source: Library