Perfect Picture Book Friday – A Is For Musk Ox

I would just like to start today by saying that it’s only 15 days until GROUNDHOG DAY (in case anyone besides me and Phyllis is counting :))

illustration copyright Jeffrey Ebbeler 2005

Also, Phyllis’s FB page is feeling unloved (because I never do anything with it :)) so if anyone wants to go chat with her she would love that.  You’re going to have to work hard to beat out Cathy as her number one fan though 🙂  Phyllis says comments on what makes groundhogs lovable would be a good start…  She also loves groundhog jokes, so if you know any, please share 🙂

Okay!  Are you ready for today’s Perfect Picture Book selection?

Given my well-documented love for silly alphabet books and the title of today’s pick, I’m sure you can already tell it’s tons of fun!  Just wait until you hear about it – I DARE you not to go straight to the library! 🙂

A Is For Musk Ox
Written By: Erin Cabatingan
Illustrated By: Matthew Myers
Roaring Book Press, October 2012, Fiction

Suitable For: ages listed variously as Preschool – Grade 4, and ages 5 and up.  I would go with 5 and up – I think some of the humor might fly over the heads of the littlest ones.

Themes/Topics: alphabet, humor, animals (musk oxen), consequences

Opening: (Well, you’ve really got to start with the cover… which he has eaten through! :))  “HEY! Hey you, Musk Ox!  Did you do this?  Did you eat that apple?”
“Who me?  I can’t remember.

Brief Synopsis:  After Joseph the musk ox eats the apple that “a” is supposed to be for, he proceeds to make the entire alphabet be all about him much to Zebra’s annoyance!  But Zebra has the last laugh 🙂

Links To Resources:  Musk Oxen Pictures And Facts, Eco Field Guide – Musk Ox, Musk Ox Print Out, Coloring Page 1, Coloring Page 2

Why I Like This Book:  SO FUNNY!  Every letter is for musk ox except the odd one here and there…  P is for Wolf, T is for headache, (you’ll just have to read it to follow that logic!) and my favorite, M is for apple… because he feels bad about eating it at the beginning 🙂  Musk ox is just a bit pushy in his insistence, and in the end gets his comeuppance, which is just a bit fair 🙂  This book may not be terribly helpful in teaching the alphabet, but it’s sure to tickle the funny bone.  The art is particularly hilarious.

For the complete list of books with resources, please visit Perfect Picture Books.

Now then, please don’t keel over with shock, but that is the end of today’s post.  I KNOW!  So brief!  But the truth is, I’m under the gun to get all the details squared away for my new writing course after the announcement leaked out a little ahead of schedule last week – nose to the grindstone and all that – and you know how me and technology get along… we DON’T… so enough said!  Wish me luck with my email template!

Have a great weekend, everyone!  And PPBF bloggers, please put your post-specific links in the list below – I can’t wait to see what you picked this week!

49 thoughts on “Perfect Picture Book Friday – A Is For Musk Ox

  1. patientdreamer says:

    Ohhh, such a nice feeling after clicking “submit” and a sign comes up saying your link has been submitted….Yay!!! …lol.
    (sorry couldn't help it)
    What only 15 days till Groundhog Day, gosh has time flown.. 🙂 Love your hilarious alphabet book. Just as well he can't eat all the letters, otherwise we wouldn't have any to make words, to make sentences, to make stories…lol. Nice one Susanna!

  2. Laura Anne Miller says:

    This sounds like a must-read. I like the humorous twist. I checked out 'Phyllis' from the library and read to my grands. They were upset that I didn't still have it with me on Wedn., but alas, it is a 'holiday' book and can only be out for a week. Blessings on your email template.

  3. Tina Cho says:

    I've heard about this book. Looks like a great laugh for kids and their parents. Congratulations on your writing course. I've been sooo busy with a freelance project, that I haven't had time to comment.
    Seems like Phyllis should have some kind of celebration for her special day coming up!

  4. pennyklostermann says:

    I have this on my reading list!!! I want to read it so bad! My library doesn't have it yet, so I may have to pony up for the old musk ox.

    After reading your review, I'm sure it would be worth it.

    Bye…going to say “Hi” to a certain little marmot!

  5. Janet Smart says:

    Sounds like this is one we are going to have to read to see what happens. It's amazing all the different ways authors come up with to write an alphabet book.

  6. Vivian Kirkfield says:

    I'm finally back with a PPBF entry.:)
    Best of luck with the course, Susanna…I would have loved to take it…but need to finish up Emma's pb course first.:)
    I love your PPBF pick…it looks hilarious…and I agree that the humor looks a little mature for the very little ones.
    I have to run out to an appt now…but I will definitely swing by Phyllis' FB page when I get back.:)

  7. Angela Brown says:

    A little humor and laughter does the body good, even if it means giggling at a pushy musk oxen making the alphabet all about him 🙂

  8. Julie Rowan-Zoch says:

    Finally gave away the last book mark – and Phyllis just happened to come up too, so I may have to go back to that bunch of first graders with some World Tour photos! And I am not surprised at the memory problems of that musk ox, I know where he's coming from! Great pick Susanna!

  9. Teresa Robeson says:

    I love the sound of that book already! I adore absurdity and humor that isn't straightforward. I wish my kid were still little so I could read this to them over and over (I feel a little odd reading it to myself over and over…but oh well, if it has to come to that…LOL!).

    Best of luck with getting everything done and ready for your course; I can't wait to take it next year!

    Hope your Friday is good and have a great weekend, Susanna!

  10. Susanna Leonard Hill says:

    It is very entertaining 🙂 And I know – hard to believe Groundhog Day is nearly upon us! I sure hope we'll get an early spring this year 🙂 I would love to have you join the course any time, Jarm – it will be tons of fun! 🙂

  11. Susanna Leonard Hill says:

    This is a very fun book – I think you would get a kick out of it (especially when you find out what 'K” is for :)) Thanks for the congrats – you're very kind! And yes, both Phyllis and I are always looking for ANY excuse for a celebration… especially one that involves chocolate cake! so I guess it's time to put on our thinking caps and see what kind of high jinx and shenanigans we can come up with! 🙂

  12. Heather Newman says:

    I love this book and I haven't even read it, yet! I hope our little library has a copy.

    Good luck getting your writing course on order. I'm sure it will be fantastic!

  13. Patricia Tilton says:

    Sometimes we just need to laugh. This sounds like a really great book for kids. I was just tickled by the cover. The clever things author's come up with.

    I thought about groundhog day a few days ago and realized I'll celebrate it in NYC. Hope you post it again, after all it is a tradition!

  14. Beth Stilborn says:

    What a fun sounding book! Definitely sounds as if it would be best for kids who already know the alphabet, to both reduce confusion and to add to their appreciation of the funniness of turning the alphabet inside out and upside down.

    I can't believe I forgot to add my link this morning! That's usually one of my first tasks on a Friday morning. Thank goodness Laura reminded me!

  15. Susanna Leonard Hill says:

    It is a fun book 🙂 And I didn't even notice your link wasn't up! I get your post notifications in my inbox, so I had already been to see your amazing book for the day! I guess thanks to Laura are in order 🙂

  16. Susanna Leonard Hill says:

    There can be NO DOUBT, Cupcake, that you are far more awesome than the musk ox who claims his awesomeness makes him worthy to represent A!!! Now that I think of it, I think there should be a whole Cupcake alphabet! 🙂

  17. Susanna Leonard Hill says:

    It probably wouldn't hurt any of us writers to have a little refresher course in the alphabet. After all, it is a building block of our trade. Just sayin'… 🙂 I hope you get to read this book at least once, Teresa – it's pretty funny 🙂 Thanks for the good wishes and have a great weekend!

  18. pennyklostermann says:

    That's sweet of you. But they do have it!!! I went
    back online this evening and this time I put in Erin Cabatingan instead of the title and it showed up. That has happened
    before and I should've remembered to search both ways! I'm soooo excited!

    Oh…and give Phyllis a hug!

  19. Susanna Leonard Hill says:

    oh, good! let me know if you like it 🙂 Phyllis sends you a warm and furry groundhog hug back and hope you will excuse the fact that she has not bathed recently because it is very VERY cold!

    pennyklostermann wrote, in response to Susanna Leonard Hill:

    That's sweet of you. But they do have it!!! I went
    back online this evening and this time I put in Erin Cabatingan instead of the title and it showed up. That has happened before and I should've remembered to search both ways! I'm soooo excited!
    Oh…and give Phyllis a hug!

    Link to comment
    IP address:

  20. Susanna Leonard Hill says:

    This is just so incredibly fin and exciting that you can comment again and submit your links! Ah, the simple things that bring us joy 🙂 Glad you like the book, and Phyllis is fondly remembering her trip to your house… she loved having her own guest bedroom 🙂

  21. Tracy Campbell says:

    Hi Susanna,
    I'll have to get on facebook so I can visit Phyllis.
    Who would have thought musk ox starts with “a”?

  22. Joanna Marple says:

    What is a musk ox? This looks a blast – super choice and a great one to read with M is for Moose. I've missed Phyllis!

  23. Kirsten Larson says:

    I've seen the title of this books, but didn't understand the concept until your review. Thanks for reviewing it. And it's nice to see my favorite Groundhog!

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