From a quirky moose’s first “Howdy Do!” to a baby-mommy mouse reunion finale, Ellen Raskin’s 1974 classic “Moose, Goose and Little Nobody” enthralled my kids, inciting true belly chuckles and countless read-it-again requests. I never minded repeat performances because Raskin’s clever, rhythmic riffs form a cadence as pleasurable to the reader as the listener. Like Seuss, Scarry and Sendak, it meets my “rocking chair” standard for the perfect children’s book: layered with so many interesting levels that it’s suitable for all ages from newborn to grandparent.
It was the first book I thought of when shopping for a friend’s baby shower. My jaw dropped when I saw the asking price of $45 to $100 for a new copy. Used versions are going for what I’d expected to pay for a new volume.
I stashed our copy of “Moose, Goose and Little Nobody,” a Weekly Reader Book Club Selection, decades ago, along with a few other favorites from diaper-changing days in the House of Perkins.
What are your favorite children’s books? Any off-beat choices you can suggest would be appreciated. I’m still shopping for something excellent yet lesser known for my friend, who’s likely to get more than one copy of “Good Night Moon” and “Cat in the Hat.”