Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Musk Ox Counts

Booklist (October 15, 2013 (Vol. 110, No. 4))
Grades K-2. In A Is for Musk Ox (2012), Zebra tries (unsuccessfully, but hilariously) to assign Musk Ox to the M page of the alphabet book. Now putting together a counting book, Zebra knows enough to give his costar top billing as “1 musk ox,” but the contrary creature steps out of line again. Not only is he AWOL from his own page (“My page is lonely”), he creates chaos on every other page, stealing the show and rewriting the book all while bickering with Zebra. Those seeking a conventional counting book should look elsewhere, but kids who are bored with predictable fare will find plenty to amuse them here, from the main characters’ banter to the absurd logic of Musk Ox’s arithmetic, in which “8 snakes + 1 musk ox + 1 whiny zebra = 8 legs.” The clever text is playfully illustrated in a varied series of scenes featuring well-realized, comical characters. A witty addition to the Musk Ox series.

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