MOE PEA THE MOOSE GROWS UP, by Steven D. Powell; North Country Press, 2019; 33 pages, $15.95


Everyone loves a good moose story, and this is one of the best, especially for children, as it is funny and contains an important lesson.

“Moe Pea the Moose Grow Up” is the whimsical creation of mid-coast Maine author Steven Powell and Warren illustrator Alyssa Willey. This is Powell’s second children’s book after “Bear Moonlight Sonata” in 2015. This story is for ages 4-10 years. It is a delightful tale of a moose who learns never to feel sorry for himself or laugh at others who are different.

Moe Pea is a young boy moose, barely two years old and hoping to grow his antlers soon so he can become a big boy moose. Unfortunately, Moe Pea’s antlers do grow out, but they don’t look like other moose antlers. His moose buddies all laugh at him and he feels bad.

However, advice from a wise old owl gives Moe Pea confidence. When his mother is trapped beneath a fallen tree, Moe Pea heeds the owl’s advice, and uses his unique antlers to rescue her, proving he could do what others could not do. And no one ever laughed at him or made fun of him again. And he never laughed at anyone who was different.



BEFORE YOU WERE OURS, by Didi Cooper; Maine Authors Publishing, 2019; 24 pages, $19.95

Author Didi Cooper and illustrator Holly Ross, both of Kennebunkport, have collaborated to produce a marvelous, original children’s book for ages 3-6, with parents telling their child how beautiful the world was before the child arrived, and how much more beautiful the world became after the child entered their lives.

“Before You Were Ours”  is intended to be read by parents to a child, with the parents tenderly telling the child of their desire for a family, appealing to the magic of the night sky, the stars and moon, the day’s sunshine, flowers, rain and gentle breezes.

This is a lyrical journey of hope, joy and love, until “the most beautiful, magical and incredible day you became ours.” The parents’ wish comes true. Generously illustrated with bright colors and detailed artwork,  a careful look will allow the child to see a cat in the window, a duck with an umbrella, a fox and its kits, a mama and papa owl in a tree, and a dog in a sailboat. The last illustration depicts all the animals celebrating at the child’s first birthday party.



The best children’s books use imagination and imagery to tell their stories, and “A Fine Orange Bucket” does that well.

Author Charlotte Crowder lives near Penobscot Bay and illustrator Jill Finsen lives on the Blue Hill Peninsula. Together they have created a Maine coastal tale of a large orange bucket and its adventures in the waters off Prospect Harbor. This story is intended for ages 4-10 years.

A FINE ORANGE BUCKET, by Charlotte Crowder; North Country Press, 2019; 32 pages, $22

Lobsterman Percy Stone buys the orange bucket to use on his boat, carrying water to wash the deck. A storm, however, blows the bucket overboard where it drifts away, around islands, finally getting tossed  ashore, stuck between two rocks, filling with seawater and seaweed. A year later, is is found by a sailing family exploring the seashore. They can’t take the bucket with them, so they toss it back into the sea where the swirling waters bring the bucket back to Percy and his lobster boat.

Vivid color illustrations are nicely augmented with a special glossary of nautical and lobster fishing terms.

Bill Bushnell lives and writes in Harpswell.

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