Z Is for Moose

Book review by
Regan McMahon, Common Sense Media
Z Is for Moose Book Poster Image
Crazy Moose mayhem in freshest alphabet book in years.

Parents say

age 2+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

age 2+
Based on 1 review

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Educational Value

A playful look at learning the alphabet and the corresponding words that go -- or don't go -- with each letter.

Positive Messages

While it's not OK to throw temper tantrums and butt in, you can understand how disappointed Moose feels at being left out. Zebra shows compassion, understanding, and kindness by helping Moose find a place in the book after all.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Zebra, the stage manager/referee, tries to maintain order but shows compassion when he lets Moose share his page at the end of the book.

Violence & Scariness

Moose throws a temper tantrum after he's left off the M page ("We decided to go with a mouse this time," says the calm Zebra stage manager/referee, holding his clipboard), stomps on a piece of pie on the P page, and knocks over the queen on the Q page. 


What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Z Is for Moose is a truly original alphabet book that shows Moose getting upset when the makers of the book choose to put a mouse on the M page instead of him. He rampages through the rest of the book, even taking a crayon to the R and S pages, crossing out "ring" and "snake" and writing in his own name instead, and adding antlers to the ring and the snake. It's fresh, funny, and silly and may help kids remember the alphabet.

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Kid, 3 years old April 19, 2012

What's the story?

What starts out as a typical alphabet book ("A is for Apple," "B is for Ball") explodes into hysterical mayhem when scene-stealing Moose muscles in on Duck's page to make it D is for Moose, then gets booted off by Zebra, the stage manager/referee with a clipboard. Moose keeps butting in too early; then, when it's finally the M page, he finds that in this book, M is for Mouse, and he goes nuts -- stomping on the pie on the P page, upsetting the queen on the Q page -- and tries to worm his way onto every other letter's page until finally giving up in tears on the xylophone. But then kind Zebra offers him a spot on the last page: "Z is for Zebra's friend, Moose."

Is it any good?

This is the most original alphabet book in years. It has great characters, wonderful comic illustrations by Caldecott Medal and multiple Caldecott Honor winner Paul O. Zelinsky, and a wild, funny, and engaging storyline. Kids will love Moose's relentless butting in on familiar pages like "K is for Kangaroo" -- when he shows up in the mama kangaroo's pouch!

There's even a gag with the cover: Lift up the book jacket, and you'll find the "original" cover with the title "Z Is for Zebra" -- before Moose covered up "Zebra" with "Moose."

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about what it feels like to be left out. Can you understand why Moose gets so mad?

  • Do you think reading a funny story is a good way to help learn or remember the alphabet?

  • What are your favorite alphabet books?

Book details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love words and the alphabet

Themes & Topics

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