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*The Ballad of Wilbur and the Moose* by John Stadler
Also by John Stadler:

Wilson and Miss Lovely: A Back-to-School Mystery

Big and Little
The Ballad of Wilbur and the Moose
by John Stadler
Ages 4-8 40 pages Robin Corey Books June 2008 Hardcover    

When the cowboys gather around the campfire at night, they often ask Whiskers to tell them a story or sing them a song. On this particular night, Whiskers picks up his banjo to sing a song that tells a story of Wilbur and his blue moose.

Reminiscent of Paul Bunyan and his blue ox, Wilbur discovers his blue moose trying to hitchhike and asks him to come along as he makes his way out West. Wilbur wants to herd pigs, and heís heard that there are lots of pigs out West.

Blue Moose is a fighting moose, and all along the way he protects those who need protecting and fights those who need a behavior change. Wilbur and Blue Moose rescue a pig sitting in the desert reading, a piglet with no talent who is singing in a saloon, and a pig who is serving up boiled boots for dinner.

On the journey, Wilbur encounters a gambler who has ten pigs that he keeps locked up in a stockade. Wilbur outsmarts the gambler and escapes with the ten pigs, but the gambler is not easily thwarted. He sneaks into Wilburís camp and steals the pigs back, and Blue Moose will have to get involved in order to save the day.

Although some life lessons can be drawn from Stadlerís delightful tale about a cowboy, a blue moose and some pigs, itís mostly just a humorous tall tale, told in simple verse and illustrated in child-style drawings. Young readers will love the character of Blue Moose much as earlier generations loved Bunyanís Blue Ox.

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