Anyone seen a moose?

Who knew there were so many fun stories about moose? In addition to modern standards like Laura Numeroff’s If You Give a Moose a Muffin and Martin Waddell’s What Use is a Moose? there are a surprising number of recent and very appealing moose books. So many that last Saturday’s Family Tales was all about our branchy-antlered friends.

We began with Looking for a Moose by Phyllis Root, which has wonderful use of language  and encourages children to look very closely . . . they just might spot a moose before the children in the book do! Since you try to spy different parts of the “long-leggy” “bulgy-nose” moose as part of the story, we followed up with the Jim Gill action song ” Toe Leg Knee.” Our next book was Ernest, The Moose Who Doesn’t Fit by Catherine Rayner.

Poor Ernest is so tall that he can’t shimmy or squeeze into the book, no matter how hard he tries. He has a little friend who is ready to help him, armed with tape and paper. The children actually gasped with surprise (lots of audible wows!) when I unfolded the book at the end!

Next we did this short action rhyme:

Mr. Moose is very tall                          (hands to head for antlers)
His antlers touch the sky                    (hands high in the air)
They make a real good resting place      (make cradle with arms)
for birdies passing by.                        (wave arms like a bird flying)

And then listened and moved to the Moose Song by the Banana Slug String Band — the lyrics really encouraged movement:

“I have antlers and nose/ I have hooves for toes / And I stand about 6 feet tall. / I’m in the mud up to my knees /Just chewing on the leaves /I’m  a moose moose /Can you hear me call?”

The last book I shared was Z is for Moose by Kelly Bingham,  a wacky alphabet book that had parents as captivated as the children.

Other great moose books to share include the new and brilliant The Moose Belongs to Me by Oliver Jeffers; Duck Duck Moose, a hilarious take on migration, by Dave Horowitz, and Beaver Pond Moose Pond,  a wonderful nonfiction picture book by Jim Arnosky.

We ended by making moose antler headbands. Some traced a pattern for the antlers, while others traced their hands to use as antlers. Great fun for a Saturday morning!

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