One of the features of this blog will be a highlight of the book the girls and I are loving each week. I typically select three early reader books for us to read during story time, and inevitably one quickly becomes the favorite. This week, we are loving "Morris the Moose" by Bernard Wiseman.
It is an easy read. My four year old should be reading it by the end of the week. The words are mostly beginner's reader words and while the book doesn't rhyme, it lends itself to a cadence that almost mimics rhyme. It is well illustrated and keeps the girls' attention with its energy and light humor. The way it is written engages the readers or listeners and invites them to participate in the story.
In the book, Morris happens upon several animals and seeing their similarities, he assumes they must be moose too. Unfortunately, Morris isn't the only animal who is a bit confused. Of course, before it's all said and done everything becomes clear and the book ends with humor that is lost on my little ones, but gets me every time. Did I mention, I love this book?
In addition to being entertaining, the story presents the opportunity to discuss the similarities and differences that exist in us all according to the divine design of God. One could also encourage little ones to acknowledge and appreciate those differences and not assume that everyone's thoughts, feelings, beliefs, opinions and even abilities reflect our own. For children who are a bit older, it opens the door to discussing how important it is to be like the cow in the story and know ourselves well enough to be able to recognize our own thoughts, feelings, beliefs, opinions and abilities and embrace them, even when others try to dismiss them.
One of the things I observed when working with tweens and later teens was how much difficulty they had trying to learn to navigate relationships of all kinds because they were much like Morris the Moose. They often assumed that everyone was like them or they were very self-unaware and thought they were like everyone else. Ultimately, for many of them, their thoughts and values were shaped by those with whom they had already identified. Only those who knew themselves were really able to avoid the pitfalls they watched their peers fall into repeatedly. Who knew Morris the Moose had some much depth to him?
I'm thinking that we'll revisit this book in a few years for the purpose of discussing these deeper issues. Until then, we'll continue counting the legs on each animal (you'll understand when you read the book) and finding laughter in the book's humor.
Have you read this book or any others in Wiseman's Morris series? If so, let us know what you think.