Moose loves telling stories to his family. But what happens when he has told them all the stories he knows? ‘Read us a story’ suggests Mrs Moose. This entails a visit to the local library and the borrowing of not just one book but several. The story reading is such a success the news spreads like wildfire and the Moose front room is soon packed – too packed. Moose, resourceful as ever has a solution, a Book Bus with books for everyone. But what if you cannot read? Moose has the answer. Soon the woodland community can enjoy books whether alone – or sharing a Storytime.
Inga Moore is likely to be remembered by adults sharing this book for the much-loved Six Dinner Sid – another picture book involving community and cooperation. Here a similar atmosphere of warmth and neighbourhood spreads off the page as the animals – each different, are drawn together in a shared experience; listening to a story – the key to the activity, a book and the best, easiest way to get hold of books is through the local library. There is a very straightforward link between learning to read here seen not as a solitary task but an activity that involves others. Then the access to books and stories – democratic, nonjudgmental, this is, of course, the local library whether a building in the town centre – or truly accessible to a disparate community, the book bus (the mobile library). Inga Moore spells out a very simple connection between access to a library and its contents and local neighbourhoods. Fox might not be the best animal to teach Hare to read – but both can share the story. But how to illustrate the diversity of audience? Inga Moore has chosen to use a woodland setting where the creatures are very clearly different, but (and for some this may not work), they are distinctly anthropomorphic. A very young reader will make connections. The gentle positive message is enhanced by the artwork where soft textures and outlines combine with a rich but pastel palette. The images fill the pages to create an immersive and imaginative sense of place. Written as a tribute to libraries and librarians, this cosy story about community and cooperation would be an ideal addition to any storytime.