I loved Maynard Moose the first time I ever heard him tell a story at the National Festival in Jonesborough, TN. Storyteller Willy Claflin is the voice behind Maynard Moose, the last living teller of traditional Mother Moose tales. The storybook The Uglified Ducky, is the story of a baby moose raised by a "fambly" of duckies and also includes Moose-English glossary.
So you think you know the story of "The Ugly Duckling." Willy Claflin and Maynard take the reader or listener on a wacky journey into the story like you've never heard it before. The newly created words are hysterical, "defelection," "demember," "distremely," "fambly" are just a few and even those words have been known to "scrumble" up the human brain.
On Mother's Day I played the accompanying CD to a completely unknowing and innocent under 10 year old group of children. There was such laughter and giggling that I'm sure reading the book will produce many smiles and become a favorite story as well.
Now don't get the "misdeception." The illustrations are also "magnifusent" with little "beasties" who love to gaze at the "branglebush." So call August House at 404-442-4420, or go online at www.augusthouse.com to get The Uglified Ducky
for your library, your grandchild, your after school group, whoever needs to hear a laugh- a -minute day in the life of The Uglified Ducky.
I guess we're going to see many more of the Maynard Moose Tales as picture books. I don't know how a storyteller will use this story. One will need permission to tell it. But this type of retelling may stir creativity for storytellers to create their own version of wacky fairytales. Student storytellers should love this.
Independent Publisher Online
Book Bit for WTBF, Troy, Alabama
For all of us who felt ugly and out of place sometime in our life, we have a revisiting of the Ugly Duckling. A baby moose wandered away from his home and ended up in a duck nest. The horrified mother thought she was the worst-looking duckling ever, and no matter how hard he tried, the moose couldn't do "duck things". So off they went to the doctor. No help. Finally he wandered off and found a big pond, where he saw..more mooses. They explain that he belongs with them. He just had to find out what he really was.
Maynard Moose relates the tale of the Uglified Ducky, a moose who lost his way and found a home with a "fambly" of ducks. But the Uglified Ducky cannot waddle, fails miserably at quacking and sinks when he attempts to swim. The final straw is the flying lesson. Discouraged and sore, the Uglified Ducky strikes out on his own and finally meets some moose who set him straight. The moral of the tale? Readers are told that if they don't feel that they fit in, "that does not mean you are uglified….It just means you have not found out what you really are yet. So demember [sic], everybody is a beautiful something or other. Especially you." Claflin's tale is punctuated throughout by glossary-defined moose words and malapropisms, making it a tale just begging to be read aloud-though one Andersen would likely not recognize, either. Stimson's droll gouache illustrations perfectly match the tongue-in-cheek text, with characters that are just brimming with personality. This is one not to be missed.
Coming in September and ideal for ages 4 to 8 is The Uglified Ducky
by Maynard Moose as told to Willy Clafin and illustrated by James Stimson, which asks the question, do you ever feel you were born into the wrong family? A takeoff of the Hans Christian Anderson tale, it tells of a baby moose who gets lost and takes a nap by a duck’s nest full of eggs. Mother duck on discovering him concludes that he is one ugly duckling just as the others hatch. What follows is a lot of fun and he happily discovers some real moose by the end of the story who tell him he is a beautiful moose!
Every full moon in the Northern Piney Woods, the animals gather to hear Maynard Moose tell his Mother Moose Tales in "old Moose Speech." The glossary begins with a tongue-in-cheek "Parental Warning" about "moose grammar, spelling, and usage, all of which have been known to scrumble up the human brain!" Poor little moose wanders away and falls asleep in a nest with five ducky eggs. "Boy, I hope the other ones will turn out better" is Mommy Ducky's reaction when she sees him. The story line echoes Andersen's "The Ugly Duckling" as the "uglified ducky" tries his best to waddle, quack, and swim, with humorous results. Predictably, all ends well, and Maynard Moose closes his story with a twist on the usual moral: If you don't fit into your "fambly…that does not mean you are uglified…. It just means you have not found out what you really are yet." Stimson's colorful illustrations are a riot, featuring stylized shapes, funny expressions, and animated scenes. A CD of the story performed hilariously by Claflin is delightful. This fresh, lively story is laugh-out-loud funny.