Honk the Moose

While I was deciding which book to read from the 1930s Newbery Medal Winners for the Newbery of the Decades Reading Challenge, one of the honor books caught my eye.

In 1936, Caddie Woodlawn by Carol Ryrie Brink won the Newbery Medal that year. A worthy winner, I’m sure.  Our personal copy is well worn from some many readings. Among the Honor Books that year was Honk, the Moose by Phil Stong. Honk, the Moose? How could I overlook a book such as this? I love a good moose story. Don’t you?

At just a hair over 80 pages, Honk, the Moose is a quick and easy read. Do not let the lack of pages cause you to misjudge this book. It was simply delightful! During an unusually cold winter in  Minnesota, two boy discover a moose in the town’s livery stable. A hungry moose that has helped himself to quite a bit of hay. The stable owner calls the police, the policeman calls the mayor, and on it goes until the whole city council is gathered at the livery stable. Shoot him? This option is mentioned several times but no one can bring themselves to shoot this sad looking moose.

The boys have affectionately named him Honk and hide Honk away so they can keep feeding him. The result? The town ends up with a pet moose. Honk wanders around town and enjoys visiting the vegetable stand and helps himself to a bit of sugar outside the store. All the townspeople love Honk so they shoo him away with no hard feelings.

Then one day, Honk’s antlers get a bit itchy and he doesn’t return to the livery stable. Will they ever see Honk, the Moose again?

Honk, the Moose is humorous in an understated way. It will definitely bring a smile to the reader’s face. I chose to read it aloud and even the older ones in the house enjoyed the story. My younger ones adored Honk.

Honk, the Moose would work well for readers who are just entering the world of chapter books.  Colorful illustrations throughout and short chapters make it engaging and manageable. I would definitely recommend adding Honk, the Moose to your book basket.

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