Book Review: If You Give a Moose a Muffin

Rating: ★★★★☆

If You Give a Moose a Muffin continues the irresistible silliness of the “If you give…” series.  This rendition begins with an offer of a muffin, which leads to a request for jam.  One muffin leads to another until a trip to the store is needed for muffin mix.  When the moose borrows a sweater for the trip, he notices a loose button and asks for a needle and thread, which then reminds him of his grandmother’s sock puppets which he decides to replicate.  The story progresses with the child good-naturedly cleaning up the inevitable mess as the distractable moose leaps from one activity to another.  The story comes full circle when the moose, exhausted from sock puppets, painted backdrops, self-inflicted scares, and laundry, asks for another muffin.

The story is skillfully crafted so the youngest reader can follow it, but contains layers of humor ranging from the simplest gag to a more subtle inside joke to the parent (who is usually the one to clean up someone else’s mess).  The story events are crisply delivered, and lively illustrations help bring out additional details.  It’s an appealing and enjoyable read.

Families who do not observe Halloween ought to be alerted that there is a reference to Moose’s plans to dress as a ghost for Halloween.

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Publication Information: Numeroff, Laura Joffe. If You Give a Moose a Muffin. Bond, Felicia (Illustrator). If You Give...; HarperCollins. 1991. ISBN: 0060244054.
Categories: 4 Stars, Age 00-04,, Read-Aloud Handbook
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Posted on February 12, 2011

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