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!
Bright, engaging illustrations.
A story about friendship and apologizing especially suited for young children.