Charlie Malarkey and the Singing Moose

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9780670846054: Charlie Malarkey and the Singing Moose
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The irrepressible Charlie Malarkey becomes caught up in a hilarious adventure involving a talented circus moose, a magical necktie, a dastardly villain, and fish sticks that sing in a barbershop harmony.

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From Publishers Weekly:

William Kennedy ( Ironweed ) and son Brendan Kennedy follow up their Charlie Malarkey and the Belly-Button Machine with this effort, which, though amiable, is lengthy for a picture book and occasionally strained in its tone. On an outing to the circus, Charlie and his friend Iggy discover a morose moose named Barnaby who, with the aid of a magic polka-dot necktie, sings such crowd-pleasers as "Moosie in the Sky with Diamonds" and "Here's to You, Mooses Robinson." Barnaby is being forced to perform against his will by a couple of thugs, however, and when the boys stumble upon the magic tie, they hatch a plan to set him free. Several plot twists and a few close shaves later, they do exactly that. There are some deliciously funny moments (a singing box of fishsticks provides one), but the cast of characters is somewhat predictable (the nosy neighbor; the short, pudgy, sly thug and the tall, skinny, dumb one, a la Jasper and Horace in 101 Dalmatians ; the bemused, inattentive parent; etc.) . The antic plot, moreover, tries a bit too hard. On the other hand, Schindler's exceptionally dynamic illustrations, with their punchy perspectives and playful layouts, maximize the truly comic elements here. All ages.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From School Library Journal:

Grade 1-4-Charlie Malarkey and his friend Iggy Gowalowicz go to the circus, where they encounter Barnaby, a large singing moose. Barnaby wears a black necktie with white polka dots, which is what enables him to sing. The boys find it lying on the ground, and when they return it to him, they learn that he is being held captive by his trainer, Ralph T. Bungaroo. The two friends promise to help Barnaby and promptly embark on a complicated and wacky series of adventures. By the end of the story, the necktie has everything from a rubber kangaroo to a box of frozen fish singing, and Barnaby is free to go back to being "an ordinary moose who only sang in the shower." The writing is lively and clever, peppered with fractured song titles (such as "Mooses Robinson") that will be plain silly to most readers but will tickle adults reading the story aloud. Schindler's zany illustrations give texture to the story; they are loaded with action, and Barnaby is one appealing moose. Older children will enjoy the understated humor on their own, but this is also a fun romp for a one-on-one read aloud.
Donna L. Scanlon, Lancaster County Library, PA
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Kennedy, William; Kennedy, Brendan
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