Picture Book Nook: This Moose Belongs to Me by Oliver Jeffers

Oliver Jeffers is one of those illustrators that can do nothing wrong.  Whichever book he writes and/or illustrates is wonderful, whether it’s his own picture books, or illustrations for other authors’ books, such as John Boyne.  Oliver’s latest picture book, This Moose Belongs to Me, is another beautifully illustrated tale.

“Wilfred owned a moose. He hadn’t always owned a moose. The moose came to him a while ago and he knew, just KNEW, that it was meant to be his. He thought he would call him Marcel.”

Most of the time Marcel is very obedient, abiding by the many rules on How to Be a Good Pet. But one dark day, while deep in the woods, someone else claims the moose as their own …
Is Marcel really Wilfred’s pet after all?

This Moose Belongs to Me is a classic Oliver Jeffers story, with the wit, subtle humour and odd characters that I love in his books.  It’s quite a simple story filled with lots of quirky details, such as Wilfred’s rules of how to be a good pet, the string to help him find his way home, and even Wilfred himself, who wears a bow-tie and listens to records.  It’s the sort of story that children of all ages will love.  What kid wouldn’t want to have a moose for a pet, that would go anywhere you wanted to go and provide shelter from the rain?

Oliver’s illustrations are as remarkable as always, but he has tried a different technique with this book.  Instead of using a plain white or coloured background he has painted onto landscape paintings created by another artist (Alexander Dzigurski).  This has created a really interesting effect.  Even though the background and the characters were painted by different people, many years apart,  they go together perfectly.  You feel like you want to dive into the book and follow Wilfred and Marcel through the beautiful landscapes, especially the cover image. It’s almost difficult to tell the two different artists apart on some pages.  If you’re familiar with Oliver’s other books you might even be able to spot several characters from them in this book too.

This Moose Belongs to Me is great for children young and old.  Younger children will love the story and older children (and adults) will appreciate the remarkable illustrations.

5 out of 5 stars