Friday, March 14, 2014

The Little Moose Who Couldn't Go to Sleep by Willy Claflin, A Review

The Little Moose Who Couldn't Go To Sleep by Willy Claflin. 

As a preschool director, I am always on the lookout for wonderful new books to add to our library. I received an eARC copy of this book to review and was really looking forward to reading it as many young children struggle with being able to go to sleep at times. Upon first opening the book, I realized that this was a story that I would not be able to share with my preschoolers based on the fact that it has too many words on a page; their attention span would not last through this entire book. Kindergarten students would be able to sit through this book with a master storyteller and certainly it is appropriate for grades 2 and up.

Mother Moose is a clever twist on Mother Goose and included an original nursery rhyme. The illustrations by James Stimson are delightful; he creates a soft, lovely world populated by friendly forest creatures. This is the element that I enjoyed the most.

While the story Claftin weaves is good, I could not get past the mechanics/prose that he chose to use. The book disregards proper grammar and is written in baby talk throughout. Even the adult characters speak incorrectly. As an educator, I just cannot imagine ever reading this book to children. Young children learn how to speak with proper grammar by adults modeling it correctly in daily conversation. Nor can I really get excited about the author's applying new meaning to words in the provided Moose Dictionary.

All that being said, I do feel that this book lends itself to audience participation. For instance, there are many times when sound effects are used in the book, and it would be fun to assign students to respond in some way to that. For instance, having a student ring a bell for "CLANG! CLANG! CLANG!" when read. I also think that Claflin told a story with a great deal of imagination - an I believe it is so important to expose our young children to imagination and encourage that in them. 

I gave this book: 

★ = I did not like it     ★ = It was okay     ★ = I liked it     ★ = I really liked it     ★ = I loved it

No comments: