Review Detail

Silly, Sweet, Simple
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
4.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
4.0
Rabbit, Porcupine, and Moose are best friends. Rabbit is good at being the boss. Porcupine is good at having fun. Moose is just Moose. When Rabbit hosts her own birthday party, Moose is most excited about the cake. He is so excited, in fact, that he can’t wait for it and eats the whole thing before the others can share it with him. Understandably, they are upset, and Moose decides to try to make it up to them.

Sauer and Rozelaar create three characters who are simple and fun and remind readers of the joys and challenges of friendship. Reminiscent of Paul O. Zelinsky’s Z is for Moose and Circle, Square, Moose, Moose is silly, impulsive, and unabashedly himself, and Rabbit and Porcupine accept him for who he is. I would have liked to have seen a less stereotypical portrayal of gender (Rabbit, the bossy character, is a girl; Porcupine and Moose, the fun-loving and rash characters, are boys). An easy change of pronouns (and a redistribution of eyelashes) would have provided a subtle—but important—challenge to the depictions of gender children typically see.

Young children will appreciate the verbal and visual humor, making this a likely choice for repeated readings. Porcupine, for example, keeps getting stuck on different objects such as Rabbit’s present or a tree branch above a trampoline. These details are one of the biggest strengths of the book. That said, I did have a few unresolved questions that I imagine detail-oriented children might bring up. For instance, I wondered why Moose lives in a house with a door too small for him to get out of easily. I also wondered what Porcupine’s present for Rabbit actually was.

On the whole, though, this is an enjoyable book, and I recommend it to young children who love animals, laughing, and, of course, cake!
Good Points
Funny text and illustrations that children will love.

Bright, engaging illustrations.

A story about friendship and apologizing especially suited for young children.

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