Debbie Glade weighs in on this new picture book by Oliver Jeffers about a boy and his pet moose.

Adorable, delightful, darling, sweet, charming – these are all synonyms for the word, cute. This Moose Belongs to Me ($16.99, Penguin Young Readers, Ages 3-7) is indeed all the above. Can you tell I thoroughly enjoyed this picture book? I promise you will, too.

Wilfred is your average boy with a pet moose he names, Marcel. (As if it is normal to have a pet moose, never mind one named Marcel.) Wilfred really enjoys Marcel’s company, and like most boys with a pet, Wilfred lays down some rules. The problem is that, well moose don’t really follow rules too well. Do they? One day, Wilfred and Marcel stumble upon a woman who claims the moose belongs to her. This sets off a series of unfortunate events for Wilfred as he gets himself into quite a pickle when he and his pet get separated. Will Wilfred ever see Marcel again? Will Marcel save the day? Will Marcel follow Wilfred’s rules once and for all? Read this terrific book and find out for yourself, because I refuse to spoil the outcome for you.

This book was written and illustrated by the very talented Oliver Jeffers, and his wonderful illustrations suit the story to a T.  This Moose Belongs to Me is a perfect example of what an excellent picture book should be – original, interesting, engaging, surprising, cleverly written and beautifully illustrated. Plus it teaches kids the great lesson that we can’t really “own” others.

By the way, Oliver Jeffers happens to be the author and illustrator of quite a few other books including one I reviewed and loved called, Stuck. I am already wondering when his next book comes out because I cannot wait.

Please note the release date of this title is November 8, 2012 – just in time for a perfect holiday gift for a special child in your life.

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