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Friday, February 4, 2011

Ernest, the Moose Who Doesn't Fit, written and illustrated by Catherine Rayner. Farrar, 2010. $19.99 ages 3 and up

"He is so large that he can't
fit inside this book.

Luckily, Ernest is also a very
determined moose. He's not
going to give up easily."

Today I had the great pleasure of spending the afternoon with the kids at New Era. We were all celebrating I Love to Read week, and I was lucky enough to be invited to be a guest reader for the kindergarten to grade four classes. It was such fun and we shared some great books.

One of the favorites for the younger classes was this lively and imaginative story about Ernest. You know about the moose if you live in Manitoba. I have even met a few on the highway! Luckily, I saw them before they saw me and I was able to stop before running into one of them. That would be a dangerous meeting.

So, we know Ernest is big and it doesn't take long to discover that he is so big he cannot fit within the pages of the book. He can get his middle in, but the rest of him is unseen. He tries every which way,  but nothing works. Ernest is very disappointed in this turn of events and accepts that it is just not meant to be...

until his friend has a suggestion. It's a big idea and sends her scampering for some tape while Ernest gathers up all the paper that he can find. Their solution to the difficulty facing Ernest is simply outstanding.

We were all in awe of the artwork and I heard many sighs of satisfaction with the end result. We agreed that we love to share books that encourage the audience to seek alternative and inventive solutions to problems that arise. We also talked about the effectiveness of the mixed media illustrations that the author uses to accompany her entertaining and humorous tale. Each double page spread provides an opportunity for observation and discussion.

The audience was attentive, the book was new and most enjoyable and I had a wonderful time. I hope they will invite me for a return visit!

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