7

Feb

Throwback Thursday: Blue Moose

Blue Moose

by Daniel Manus Pinkwater

Find it at: Your library | Amazon

Published: Dodd, Mead, & Company 1975

As you may or may not know, L’s favorite animal (at least for now) is a moose. So when I spotted this old Daniel Manus Pinkwater title for a $1 at our library’s local book sale it was a must buy.

Arguably most famous for his picture book, The Big Orange Splot, Mr. Pinkwater’s silly stories and simple illustrations have charmed readers for decades. Blue Moose, perfect for newly independent readers, takes place at the edge of the woods, in place far, far north, at Mr. Breton’s restaurant. This short poem starts the story:

The moose is blue,
Your wish will come true.

The main character, Mr. Breton, is a very good cook. People from the town come to his restaurant for his famous clam chowder and homemade bread, but during their visit never spoke a word as to whether or not they enjoyed his food. This troubled Mr. Benton. But one morning a moose, a blue moose to be specific, appeared in front of Mr. Breton’s yard. Mr. Breton tried to shoo the moose away, but he would not budge. Instead, the moose asked to come inside to get warm.

 When inside, Mr. Breton offered the moose a bowl of his clam chowder. The moose slurped it up exclaiming how wonderful it was, which in turn made Mr. Breton very happy. Later that day, a few customers arrived while Mr. Breton was cooking, so the moose decided to seat them and wait on them, carrying their orders of clam chowder from his antlers. The guests were at first shocked, but then began to enjoy the moose’s table services while also complimenting the chef. Soon, word got out around town about the moose waiter as well as Mr. Breton’s top notch cooking.

And so the story of friendship between Mr. Breton and the moose began. But once the game warden hears of Mr. Breton’s famous moose, he intends to uphold the law of Section 5 –Subheading 6– Paragraph 3: That no person shall keep a moose as a pet”, and their friendship is in jeopardy of being short-lived.

The most interesting character, in my opinion, is the brief appearance of Dave the hermit. Later in the story, the moose brings Dave, who was dressed in rabbit skins, shoes made of bark and moss, and an owl atop his head, home to Mr. Breton’s one evening.

“Dave is very shy”, the moose said. “He would appreciate it if you didn’t say anything to him until he knows you better, maybe in ten or fifteen years.”

Even though words aren’t spoken, Dave (and his owl) become fast friends of Mr. Breton. A fun and lovable story with bits of nonsense in the mix, Blue Moose is a delightful and truly one-of-a-kind.

Found it: At The Friends of the Lawrence Public Library book sale.

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