“ Author: Stephanie Boey / Hardcover / 26 Pages / Book is published 2008-08-01 by TEMPLAR „
I bought "Teeny Tiny Moose" to add to my huge moose book collection in January 2009 (it was published in 2008) for the price of £6.39. Its rrp is £7.99, but can currently be bought new on Amazon for £7.19 or used for 1p plus £2.80 delivery. I bought it for no other reason than it being about moose.
---The beautiful book---
The book is attractively presented, with an additional dust cover that has the pictures of the moose slightly embossed. The blurb on the back simply says "Teeny, the tiny moose, just wants to make friends, but the other baby animals call him names. What will it take to make him King of the Forest?"
The pages of the book (26 pages, 22 of which make up the story) are made with card rather than paper, and although it would still get damaged if given to a small child to flick through, it certainly makes it more durable than most books.
---The layout, illustrations and text---
Each double-paged spread has the text on the left hand side, and a beautiful picture (illustrations are by Stephanie Boey) on the right hand side (sometimes this picture is spread over the two pages and acts as background to the text). Like the dust cover, pictures are embossed, which is lovely (and I'm sure children will enjoy touching and feeling), and shows the high quality of the book. The pictures are light pastel colours, and seem to be very fine pencil drawings
Although I am not a parent, I have read enough book reviews to know straight away that the text used in "Teeny Tiny Moose" is not suitable for young readers. It's in italics in a medium grey colour. Although it looks attractive like the rest of the book, it could be seen as a drawback. However, due to some fairly complicated words used, I feel that it is most suitable for a parent to read to a child anyway (it's probably most suitable for the 2-5 age range) - that said though, when reading with any child it would be useful if it was easier for them to be able to follow the text.
The story (written by Ruth Martin) is about a little moose (who is very cute from the pictures) who ventures out into the forest where he meets some other baby animals who are playing. He wants to join in with them, but they laugh at him for being such a small moose and are quite frankly nasty to him. Since the other animals depicted are a badger, a fox, a deer and a rabbit (not very realistic since these animals wouldn't appear together), well, I feel it's a bit rich coming from them.
The little moose is very upset and goes home to his dad (again, this just wouldn't happen in real-life as male moose have nothing to do with child rearing) who reassures him that "one day you will be King of the Forest, like me." Teeny Tiny moose spends a lot of time with his dad, learning how to be a moose and it all sounds very idyllic. One day when he is bigger his dad decides that Teeny is old enough, so leaves him to fend for himself.
Teeny meets again with the other animals who again laugh at him, and this time he can't run to his father. However, he remembers what his dad has taught him, and there follows an incident (very brief, only lasts one page) where Teeny proves himself. Then of course the other animals want to be his friend.
I have to say that I don't think much of the story as I don't think it sends out a very good message. The other animals are free to be mean to the moose, and then Teeny just (without question) accepts them as friends after he proves himself as a brave moose. Perhaps Teeny Tiny Moose is being mature and forgiving. However, I feel quite angry on his behalf that the other animals will only be friends with him now that he is a big brave moose. I'm not convinced that this is the right message to be giving out to children, especially to those who are having trouble fitting in. You shouldn't have to be the King of the Forest to have friends.
Searching on the Internet I see that there are 3 other books produced by Templar Publishing and illustrated by Stephanie Boey (these books are about a duck, a chick and a lamb), which all look lovely - the authors are different too, so the storylines might be better. However, since my interest in children's books only extends to those about moose (honestly, when I have children they will probably grow up thinking that there are moose) I won't be purchasing them.
This is certainly one of my favourite moose-related books in terms of the illustrations which are just beautiful, and the quality of the book itself is superb.
However, I think that the story lets it down, and although I'm sure I will read it to my children when I have them, I certainly wouldn't recommend that people go out of their way to purchase the book, unless they are particularly excited about any books which feature moose.
I will award the book 3 out of 5 stars.