Perfect Picture Book Friday – A Chocolate Moose For Dinner


How perfect is this book?

Could there be a better title for me to post?  (Besides Betty Bunny Loves Chocolate Cake, which I LOVE, but it’s already on the PPBF list!)

Title:  A Chocolate Moose For Dinner
Written & Illustrated By: Fred Gwynne
Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers, 1976, Fiction

Suitable For Ages: 7 and up

Themes/Topics: language, homonyms, idioms, humor

Opening: “Mommy says she had a chocolate moose for dinner last night.  And after dinner she toasted Daddy.”

Brief Synopsis:  This isn’t so much a story as a string of what the girl (who isn’t named) thinks are wild stories her Mommy and Daddy are making up because they mean it one way and she takes it quite another.  For example, Mommy means she ate chocolate mousse for dinner, but the girl thinks she had a moose made out of chocolate over to eat with her 🙂

Links To Resources: I didn’t have much luck finding any fun or interesting links, but here are some activities you could do: have kids draw what they think it looks like when you get up on the wrong side of the bed, or when time flies, or when it’s raining cats and dogs, or when someone has a green thumb – or anything else you think up 🙂  Give kids homophones and see which word they think of immediately and then whether they can think up the other word that sounds like it but means something different, for example ate/eight, bear/bare, cent/scent/sent, dear/deer etc.  Talk about how words can be confusing because they sound the same but mean different things – the way orange is both a color and a fruit.  Other books that can be used in conjunction are the three other titles in this series by Fred Gwynne and the Amelia Bedelia books.

Why I Like This Book:  This book perfectly exemplifies how literal children are, and how often we as adults say things that we understand to mean something quite different from the way a child takes it.  Each page expresses a homonym, idiom, or figure of speech that sounds like an adult would say it, but the picture shows what the child thinks Mommy or Daddy means.  For example, “After dinner she toasted Daddy” – of course we know she means with a glass, but the picture shows Daddy in the toaster 🙂  Although children younger that 7 might enjoy the pictures and understand some of the humor, a lot of the expressions (like toasting) are for older readers.

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

Now then.  Before you all rush off to read all the other fantastic picks for PPBF and onto your weekends, I want to mention 3 things:

1.  Sue Morris over at Kid Lit Reviews very kindly nominated me for the WordPress Family Award!  “The WordPress Family Award is reserved for folks in Cyberspace who are  unceasingly kind, sympathetic, encouraging, and open to laughter—and who keep each other going by sharing, commenting, and making personal connections even though they may actually be virtual strangers.”  I am so honored to have been nominated (sweetly overlooking the fact that technically I’m a blogspotter not a WordPresser)!  Thank you, Sue.  Of course, I’m supposed to pass this along to 10 people I feel are deserving, and you know how bad I am at that.  I’ll have to think on it…  I think you all deserve it!

2.  About that Jingle Contest.  You, the people, have spoken… although not in a way that makes for an easy decision 🙂  Enough people said they wanted to take a crack at writing a jingle that I’m going to leave that part of the contest as is.  And I think there might be a few kids out there who want to do the kids contest, so we’ll leave that as is too.  However, almost as many people said they’d like to just FB post, tweet and/or blog.  So I’m going to add a separate category for that.  With one smaller prize.  And I’ll put that on Monday’s post when the contest goes up.  Sound good?  Hopefully everyone will be happy?  I hope so!

I’ve also got the actual e-book waiting to download to my husband’s iPad, so I’ll get to see it later today!!!  And I’ve been told the links for the different platforms will not be available until Tuesday May 7 when the e-book is officially available, so we’ll just have to wait to add those in!

3.  I’m giving you all a fair-warning heads up.  I’m going to put Perfect Picture Books on hiatus for the summer again.  Our last PPBF post before the summer break will be Friday June 14.  I hope you guys won’t mind too much.  We’ll still do fun stuff.  Maybe Summer Short & Sweets again, or maybe something else I think up.  And there will be a writing contest in early July.  But I need time to catch up and update, and I’m hoping this summer, without all the college visits, I might actually get it done 🙂

Okay.  Class dismissed 🙂  Have a wonderful weekend everyone, and PPBF bloggers, please put your post-specific links on the list below!

47 thoughts on “Perfect Picture Book Friday – A Chocolate Moose For Dinner

  1. pennyklostermann says:

    I'm really hoping the library has A Chocolate Moose For Dinner! It sounds like so much fun. Back when I sold books, Capstone had series of nonfiction books called Ways To Say It. There are four books in the series-one on similes one on metaphors, one on idioms, and one on tongue twisters. They would be a great resource for extension activities for A Chocolate Mousse For Dinner.

    Congrats on your award!

    I'm looking forward to the jingle contest. I have mine ready to go, but my voice is on a semi-vacation. Not gone, but scratchy! It better get back home for recording time! Or maybe y'all would be better off if it stayed away…LOL!

  2. Rhythm says:

    I love that chocolate moose! I love silly books that make kids laugh. I'll have to check this one out! And congratulations on a well deserved award!

  3. Laura Anne Miller says:

    What a fun sounding book – must search it out. Great suggestions for activities too! Glad you kept the jingle contest – I'm not good at them…but I have one idea noodling around…and Congrats on the WP award—you always brighten MY day!!

  4. Lauri Meyers says:

    If any four traits perfectly described you, they would be “unceasingly kind, sympathetic, encouraging, and open to laughter.” Congratulations!

  5. Wendy Greenley says:

    I just bought a copy of Chocolate Mousse at my library's used book sale last weekend to re-read. It is a golden oldie! Congratulations on the blog recognition! It's all true.

  6. nrhatch says:

    Sounds like a great “contest compromise” . . . perhaps you can please all of the people, some of the time anyway. 😀

    Love this picture book. I remember the first time I heard about Chocolate Mousse . . . and I pictured a moose. 😀

  7. patientdreamer says:

    lol… your book is certainly just right for you and if I ever came across it I know I would think of you… Congrats on your award too.
    Oh WHATTTT!, your gonna close PPBF down!…. you realise it will be mid winter here…. what's a girl gotta do…. 🙂 Just kidding really. You deserve a break over the summer period and enjoy time with your kids.
    Have a great weekend Susanna.

  8. Julie says:

    Good morning! Gwynne wrote another such book – I think the title is The King Who Rained – both very funny! Congrats on the nomination – so very well deserved! Of course I'm sad about the summer hiatus – BUT, as always you set my rusty wheels in motion: what I can do beyond twiddlin' ma thumbs. Some people have a little version of themselves sitting on their shoulder, angelic or devilish whispering sweet or sour nothings in their ears – I have a mini Susanna, calmly enjoying – you guessed it – a slice of___fill in a random chocolate dessert! I'm working on that jingle!

  9. Stanley & Katrina says:

    What a fun book! Stanley & Katrina were just discussing a blogging hiatus for the summer as well, so we certainly understand. I am happy to have another picture book to link in this week. I will add your info to the post next (sorry I didn't have it there to begin with). You have a wonderful site with great contests. Keep it up and thanks for hosting PPBF!
    ~Cool Mom (Christine M)
    for Stanley & Katrina

  10. Amy Dixon says:

    This book definitely sounds fun! I find myself explaining idioms all the time to my kids. We just started trying to explain sarcasm as well, which is sorta hard for kids to get. Maybe there needs to be a book about that!

  11. Joanna Marple says:

    I will be honest and say I am glad for the PPBF hiatus over the summer as I plan to take July and August mainly off from blogging. I think older kids will love these homonyms and I personally would rather have tea with a chocolate moose than eat a chocolate mousse! This is a great teaching tool.

    Congrats on a well-deserved award, Susanna!

  12. Vivian Kirkfield says:

    Wonderful book, Susanna! Thanks for sharing it!
    Congrats on the award…much deserved.:)
    I wasn't sure I would be able to contribute to PPBF today…but I managed to do a short baby board book…which is probably no surprise considering what I've been immersed in this past week.:)

  13. Susanna Leonard Hill says:

    You're welcome, Rosi! It's a little dated – some of the expressions are not ones that would make it into a kids' book today… like “the arms race”! – but it's really well done. Gwynne wrote 3 others too – A Little Pigeon Toed, The King Who Rained, and oh golly I can't remember the other one just now, but they're all fun 🙂


  14. Susanna Leonard Hill says:

    Glad you like the book, and thanks for the congrats, and also glad you don't mind about PPBF… I think maybe I should run a poll to see how many people are planning on taking a blogging break over the summer… sometimes i think we could all use one and come back refreshed to blog anew with tacks of completed mss that we got done while we weren't online! 🙂


  15. Susanna Leonard Hill says:

    Yes, he did, and also A Little Pigeon Toed and The Sixteen Hand Horse – they are all fun! Thanks for the congrats, I will do my best to keep your wheels turning even without PPBF, and I can't WAIT to see/hear your jingle! I'm working on mine and it is NOT going well! 🙂


  16. Susanna Leonard Hill says:

    I am truly, deeply, hoping for cake, Coleen! Lauri said she was going to bake a sheep cake!!! And I hope she will! And I will display it and you may all have some 🙂 If she doesn't, I will have to come up with a Plan B 🙂


  17. Susanna Leonard Hill says:

    Thanks for the congrats, and I'm sorry about PPBF, but you can write all your picks ahead so they'll be ready to post come your summer break 🙂 And I've got my thinking cap on as to what fun thing we might do instead (that doesn't involve tons of updating in the background :)) Meanwhile, work on your jingle – you could win a prize 🙂


  18. Susanna Leonard Hill says:

    Glad you're happy with the compromise – I hope we're all going to have tons of fun no matter what we do 🙂 And I don't know who invented chocolate mousse but whoever it was they were a genius! 🙂


  19. Kirsten Larson says:

    Mmmmmmmm….chocolate moose for dinner. That's funny. I am ok with a break for the summer. But then again, I haven't been as consistent this year anyway.

  20. Susanna Leonard Hill says:

    Glad you like the book, and thanks for your congrats and kind words 🙂 I can't wait to see what you're noodling. I've been noodling too, but without success so far… and I'm running out of time!


  21. Susanna Leonard Hill says:

    Oh, yay! I'm so glad if I helped you find a childhood love you were missing! I have a book like that I can't remember… just that there was a blue-green elephant in it… And thank you for your very kind words – they mean so much 🙂


  22. Susanna Leonard Hill says:

    Those Ways To Say It books sound really cool – I'd like to read them. Thanks for the congrats 🙂 and I am jealous that your jingle is ready to go because mine refuses to be created! ACK! Good luck with your voice 🙂


  23. Teresa Robeson says:

    I read that book before but I think it's time to re-read it! 🙂 Sorry I won't have time to do the jingles contest (though I'd love to), but I'm at the SCBWI Wild, Wild Mid-West conference this weekend and haven't had time to do much creative things before I left. Great conference though…having so much fun meeting 12×12 peeps and learning from agents and editors!

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