Alphabet Mayhem – Z is for Moose


Z is for Moose
Kelly Bingham and Paul O. Zelinsky
Andersen Press pbk
From cover to cover, this alphabet book is an absolute hoot.
Zebra is trying to stage manage an alphabetical show and is attempting to ensure that each object appears in proper order of its initial letter/sound. But there is an exuberant Moose who is so eager to get himself on stage and in the spotlight that he keeps appearing at inappropriate times. When it does get to his letter, poor Moose discovers that in fact, it is Mouse that is be featured. Oh woe!


He then determines to sabotage the whole production.


Zebra remains equally determined and keeps the show rolling– well almost – and then right at the end, comes up with a wonderful conflict resolution as the grand finale. Have you guessed it?
Everything about this romp through the alphabet is a joy. Start from Zelinsky’s cast of characters just visible under the curtain in front of the stairs on the first opening and then go to the dedication page and watch the alphabetical cast emerging through the stage door. From there on in, you can see each of Kelly Bingham’s alphabetic characters, some entirely, some just sufficiently (despite Moose) to be able to determine what should be centre stage.

The whole book is brilliantly done through a wonderful partnership between author and artist.
Also brilliant are the contrasting characters: Zebra –graceful and calm, most of the time, Moose – gawky and in your face, but with oh so winning a smile.
Children will adore everything about this book and like me, be in fits of laughter at the antics of Moose especially the spread whereon the Queen is dethroned.
Truly an alphabet book like no other. But DO NOT think of this as just an ABC book; it’s a marvellous story in its own right. Simply wonderful stuff.
I urge you, wherever and whatever your connection with young children, get hold of this book and share it over and over. No connection? – then get yourself a copy and just ENJOY!
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It is possible to create an alternative alphabet book from this one using feelings and moods that emerge throughout this romp of a story: A- Anger, B – Bravado, C – Cool, D Disappointment, E – Exuberance and so on. For X of you’d need to use the second letter of the word eg eXcited.
Why not take on the challenge with your children?

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