CM . . .
. Volume XXIII Number 8. . . .October 28, 2016
As the book’s subtitle makes clear, Moose, Goose, Animals on the Loose! is an alphabet book that uses Canada’s wildlife as its organizing theme. Valério uses the word “wildlife” in its widest sense, and so the book includes mammals, birds, amphibians, insects and fish. The book’s creatures range from the more common, such as a hare, racoon or skunk, which might even be seen by some urban readers of Moose, Goose, Animals on the Loose! to those, like the Arctic fox, caribou, moose and vulture, that only a few children will actually encounter in the animals’ natural habitat. In size, Valério’s examples range from the huge killer whale to the tiny yellow jacket.
A blurb on the back cover explains that “Geraldo Valério makes collage illustrations in his Toronto studio using magazine and wrapping papers, glue and a big pair of scissors.” Each pair of facing pages contains one or more wildlife examples of the pages’ target letter or letters. For instance, the two pages given to B b reveal both a bison and a beaver while a caribou and its calf and three dragonflies share the Cc and Dd facing pages. The illustration accompanying Ee, on the other hand, is a double-page spread of an eagle feeding one of its young. Valério’s brief text, always alliterative, consists of short phrases or sentences, such as Ee’s:
Of course, all alphabet books, especially those having a theme focus, have to deal with those tough letters of the alphabet that don’t lend themselves to being the initial letter in a word, and so Valério handles Xx by illustrating an “exuberant MuskoX” and an “exotic LynX” and Zz via “fuzzy grizzly GriZZly Bears”.
The book’s last four pages provide young listeners/readers with bonus information as Valério provides a fresh, albeit small, illustration of each of the work’s “critters” to which he adds a sentence or two of what could be described as “fun facts”.
Moose, Goose, Animals on the Loose! definitely has a place in home collections as well as in those libraries that serve the preschool and kindergarten crowd.
Dave Jenkinson, CM’s editor, lives in Winnipeg, MB.
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Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.