The Cute Moose: In Print


It’s available, and in time for Christmas! Not only does that mean I can make sure my sister has it in her hands in time for gifts, but it means you can have it for giving, too! 

I’m so excited about this. It started as a whim, and it grew and grew. I learned so much while I was working on it. And it became more than simply a Christmas present for my sister. It is, as Papa Pat said (the man has a knack for putting his finger on the heart of the matter) a love story about sisterhood. 

The Cute Moose is silly, and cute, and meant for small people. But it doesn’t have only easy words. And it’s meant to be read out loud, while the art is explored. Hidden hints lurk in some of the artwork, but not all! to keep you guessing. I poured my heart into this book, and I’m told it shows.

There are three of us girls, all grown up now. All three of us are named for trees (ok, that’s a stretch for the middle sister, but we’ll go with it) but when we were small we were Cedar, Manya, and Jumper. Jumper, the youngest, and the original cute moose, is 40 now. I’m the oldest, and this book might never have happened without our middle sister Manya encouraging me and cheering me on all the way. I’ve been saying for years now that while I could handle the art for a children’s book, I couldn’t do the story. I think and write in novel and a few tens of thousands of words is easy. Keeping it to a few hundred? Eeks! But she kept making suggestions and telling me I could do it. I believed her. She brainstormed with me, things like Juniper’s favorites (pink, Highland Cows, silly goose) and good fonts for both readable but subtly playful (we wound up choosing Cheboygan partly because the name tickled both of us). And although her name doesn’t appear in the book, she’s in it. All three of us are. 

So this happened. Cute Moose is a read-aloud because my baby sister cannot read herself. She’s worked at it, over the years. Sometimes we’ve thought… but no. Not yet. She loves stories, though, and will happily listen to them read, or on videos, or recordings. I got the hivemind to come up with audiobooks not long ago for her! And I kept in mind that it was a book not only for Jumper, but young ones whose parents had a sense of humor. Because that’s the thing about my baby sister. She’s got a great sense of humor. Her joke that created the title of the book is to put her hands up by her head and say “I’m a moose! A cute moose!” and she is! 

The other thing that went into Cute Moose was my homesickness. I miss Alaska’s landscapes. I can’t go back again – not only have things changed in 20 years, but I have cold-triggered asthmatic symptoms (you know, passing out when you shovel snow is a hint you should move south). I can recapture the land in my art, and I tried very hard to do so. 

Some of the book’s layout.
If you don’t have kids, but you do have Kindle Unlimited? Check it out, it’s available as a handsome ebook. Turns out Amazon has a cool tool for making children’s books come to life on the screen, too! And I would love to hear what you think of it! 

5 thoughts on “The Cute Moose: In Print

  1. Ho ho ho that’s not how you kids got your names . But I’ll play along…for now. Wasn’t it her Uncle Doug that gave her the nickname Jumper?
    Cedar’s dad

    1. Blog names are not real names, Dad! And you and Mom have built-in nicknames. Nom-de-blog gives a little veil of privacy. I’ve lived in public for nearly 15 years now, since I started writing this blog. But I won’t drag family on stage with me if they don’t want to be out here too!

      I do think that’s where Jumper came from. And it stuck, since it suited her well!

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