The Little Moose Who Couldn’t Go to Sleep

February 25, 2014

The Little Moose Who Couldn’t Go to Sleep. Willy Claflin. James Stinson, ill. 2014. 36 pages. August House. [Source: ARC provided courtesy of NetGalley.]

A book “as told to” a human by a moose that has an accompanying CD and needs a glossary? That is just enough of a departure from the norm for me to check it out. From the minute we dove in, I knew this book was a treat.

The foreword is cute. I like the idea of the story and way it’s told being authentic to the person (or animal) who told it. I think that sets up a good precedent for readers who may venture into other cultures’ stories (think Canterbury Tales). I would have loved to heard the accompanying CD, but I think you get a fairly good feel for it from the story.

The glossary is equally interesting. It was fun to sound out the words and understand their meanings. Some are tied to actual words and their meanings (Pedogogeez), common mispronunciations (amunal), while some were sounds (gaddunk) and others were just silly (D’ow, Phoo!). Either way, the glossary is a great start to the moose stories.

This book is in the story-telling tradition in that the moose passes stories he’s heard down to the next generation. There’s a bit of creation story, but it focuses more on Little Moose’s overactive mind at bedtime. It’s definitely appropriate for young readers who “suffer” from the same ailment, and it’s a fun way to look at ways to get Little Moose to sleep.

We loved the illustrations. They’re digital illustrations, but are crisp, bright, and detailed. They’re definitely as much of a draw as the story itself.

Overall, this is a pretty good book. The story and the way it’s told are certainly a departure from the norm. But that’s what makes it so interesting. The illustrations only add to that. This is absolutely worth a read (and a listen, if you’ve got the CD).

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