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Illustrator: Jack E. Davis
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry
Format: Hardcover, also available in Paperback
Age Range: Toddler, Preschooler, Early Reader
Kid Love Factor: 4/5
Adult Sanity Factor: 3.5/5
Those of you who've been visited Sam and Boo before probably know of our fondness for Karma Wilson (see our reviews of Bear Snores On and The Cow Loves Cookies). So, when we stumbled upon this in the library, we just had to borrow it for a peek.
Moose Tracks tells the story of an impressive socialite. It seems he's had a multitude of friends over to visit in the past day, all of whom leave their mark on his property. The bear leaves hair. The goose leaves feathers. The beaver leaves woodchips. The chipmunk leaves nut shells. But he can't for the life of him figure out who left all the moose tracks, as none of his visiting friends is a moose. It's a mystery, one that's humorously solved on the final page.
There are moose tracks in my kitchen,
and I'm itchin' to know why!
Some friends dropped over yesterday,
but not one moose stopped by.
Davis does a great job with the pictures. The illustrations are complex, with lots of fun detail for kids to search through and enjoy. The animals are a bit cartoony, but still seem quite human. Boo's fond of finding the ladybug on the last page.
I must admit I don't enjoy this one as much as I do the other two of Wilson's books that we've read. I'm not entirely sure why; Moose Tracks just doesn't strike me as quite as poetic and memorable. That being said, the text still flows well and makes for a good read, one that Boo requests frequently. For some reason it's all he's been wanting to talk about over dinner the last couple of nights...
Boo: Mama read Moose Tracks?
Sam (imagining returning the book to the library covered in pasta sauce): How about we finish dinner first, then read Moose Tracks?
Boo: Dinner first, then Moose Tracks?
Sam: Yep. Dinner first, then we'll read Moose Tracks.
Boo (ponders this before grabbing two handfuls of spaghetti and jamming them in his maw): Dinner finished!
Sam: Okay. New deal. Wash hands first, then Moose Tracks.
Autism Spectrum Bonus: There's lots here to work with, from identifying the various creatures, to counting moose tracks, to repeating "Moose Tracks", to making a game out of finding details, to talking about all the things each animal friend enjoys doing. And whatever beliefs you have about how theory of mind relates to autism, I know I'm looking forward to when Boo's old enough to discuss the solution to the moose track mystery and why our unnamed protagonist can't or pretends to not be able to solve it.
'Moose Tracks' isn't on my book shelf.
Look, I just can't make it stay.
Boo's always dragging it out,
To read more every day.
Moose Tracks on Amazon.ca
Moose Tracks on Amazon.com