I'm struck again by the beauty of Oliver Jeffers' work. I've already reviewed the marvellous Stuck here; This Moose belongs to Me is another wonderful offering. In the author's own words, this quirky story addresses the "trials and tribulations with ownership, antlers and the rules of being a good pet!" Wilfred's moose Marcel is a wonderful pet in many ways. But he doesn't always obey the rules that Wilfred sets out for him. And with the introduction of a rival owner vying for Marcel's affection, Wilfred finds he can't take ownership of his exotic pet for granted anymore.
The artwork is exquisite as always. Wilfred's angsty negotiation of his "ownership" of Marcel is set against a backdrop of lofty American mountain ranges and sweeping plains. Amid the glory and splendour of the natural world, Wilfred learns that he cannot claim everything he wants as "mine." (I imagine this will be a welcome message for many frazzled parents!) And, unlike many educational texts, the message is communicated implicitly rather than explicitly.
Though not all critics appreciate Jeffers' trademark handwritten font, he softens the blow here somewhat by combining it with a more readable standard typeface. The picture on the right here is a good example.
A definite crowd pleaser for younger readers and parents alike, this classic tale of a boy and his moose is a worthy addition to any bookshelf.