This Moose Belongs to Me

We are big Oliver Jeffers fans at this house. His books are so clever and simple and funny. His artwork cracks me up. Today we read This Moose Belongs to Me to some 1st graders. It cracked them up too!

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The book was published by Philomel Books in 2012.
It is suitable for K and up.
Themes would be pets and wildlife.

The book begins with “Wilfred owned a moose.”

This is the story of a boy, Wilfred, who thinks that he owns a moose that he names Marcel.

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He has a big list of rules for pets and tells us that Marcel obeys some of the rules. Like Rule 4 which is: “Not making too much noise while Wilfred plays his record collection.” (Surprisingly, some of the kids knew what a record collection was!) Some rules he ignored. Like Rule 7: Going whichever way Wilfred wants to go.”  And Rule 7 (subsection b): Maintaining a certain proximity to home.” ( big word alert! – PROXIMITY) Basically, Marcel tended to go wherever there were apples. And that led them to a “terrible discovery …..” A little purple haired lady who thought SHE owned the moose and called him Rodrigo! Wilfred was enraged! And stormed off to home.

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But in his haste – (another good word!) he got into a bad fix and was eventually rescued by the moose. Rule 73 for a good pet — “rescuing your owner from Perilous Situations! (more good words!) And then Wilfred admitted that he had never really owned the moose anyway. A good end!

While reading this book with the kids we talked about visualization and plot. Those were the things that they had been studying in class. We also talked about pets versus wildlife. What exactly makes an animal a pet? And why is it not a good idea to try to keep wildlife as pets? We talked about moose and what kind of animal they were and where they live. Mr Jeffers backgrounds for this book were quite special. I have heard that he didn’t actually paint them – they were found artwork from trashbins and books. And he had to find the original artists to be able to use them. Pretty clever!  In class we came up with some of our own rules for a good pet. Things like not going to the bathroom in the house and not jumping on furniture and not running away.

This is a fabulous book. The kids all gave it thumbs up and I give it 4 paws!

Some websites you might want to check out for classroom discussion and activities :

Defenders of Wildlife has lots of information about wildlife conservation.
The Alaska Department of Fish & Game has some information on wildlife viewing and safety.
With The World Wildlife Fund, you can adopt a moose!
And for little ones here’s a really cute moose puppet made from a paper bag!

For Oliver Jeffers fans, I give you a couple of videos:
The 1st one is How to Draw a Moose
The next one is a rather long presentation from OFFSET with Mr Jeffers talking about his art and book making process. Very Good!

Now you might want to jump over to Susanna Hill’s blog for some more great picture books with activitie to go with. It’s Perfect Picture Book Friday!!  Check ’em out!

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29 thoughts on “This Moose Belongs to Me

  1. What an unusual picture book with Moose rules! I really enjoyed your discussion with the kids about what it a pet and wil animal. Very clever story idea. And, I always love your photos. They show how engaged the kids are.

  2. I have to laugh because this is the book I was going to do this week until Betty Bunny showed up on my doorstep! I LOVE Oliver Jeffers – he’s just brilliant. I love all the rules…. and all the little extras in the pictures… and how on the last page there’s yet another owner of the moose 🙂 Thanks so much for adding this excellent book to our list 🙂

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