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A Is for Musk Ox (Musk Ox)

4.19  ·  Rating Details ·  480 Ratings  ·  133 Reviews
A is for musk ox because musk oxen are annoying and always about as aggravating as absolutely anyone alive.
Hardcover, 36 pages
Published October 16th 2012 by Roaring Brook Press
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Jan 03, 2013 Joella rated it really liked it
This book should have started with “A is for Apple”; however, Musk Ox ate the apple. So Zebra is upset that his “book is ruined” but Musk Ox thinks that the book would be much better when “A” is for “awesome…Arctic…and Alaska” all of which describe Musk Ox or where Musk Ox lives. And so goes the rest of the alphabet. Musk Ox has taken over and the majority of the alphabet is used to describe Musk Ox. The story is funny, the illustrations have the right amount of quirky animal characteristics (th ...more
Nov 19, 2012 Tasha rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
The story begins right at the cover with Musk Ox chomping on the apple that would have been what “A” stands for. Instead, he insists that A is really for musk ox. Zebra argues with him, after all there isn’t even a single letter A in musk ox. Musk Ox explains using lots of words that start with “A” that musk oxen are Awesome; they live in the Artic and even Alaska. Turn the page and you will see that B is also for musk ox, rather than baby. Again, Musk Ox has plenty of explanations for exactly w ...more
Feb 01, 2013 babyhippoface rated it really liked it
I know what you're thinking, it's supposed to say 'A is for apple'. But that's what every abc book says, according to Musk Ox. He wants to change this book up a little, make it less boring and predictable.

He definitely achieves that goal, in spite of poor Zebra's protests that he's ruining the book, and that he can't use "musk ox" for the letter a, since there's not even an A in musk ox. Makes no difference to Musk Ox, who blasts his way through the alphabet, finding, amazingly, that nearly ea
Oct 08, 2013 Betsy rated it it was amazing
I confess that I went into this book with a chip on my shoulder. After all, Z Is for Moose was AWESOME and hilariously funny and clever. This sounded like a knock off (although both books were independently in production with neither author/illustrator team knowing that the OTHER was happening... weird, huh?).

At any rate, this one is a touch more complex than Z is for Moose. Musk Ox manages to make nearly every letter in the alphabet about himself. And it's hilarious. I love his expressions in t
Oct 01, 2013 Dolly rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: parents reading with their children
We recently read Musk Ox Counts by Erin Cabatingan and Matthew Myers and we really liked it. When posting my review for that book here, we discovered that this team also collaborated on this book. So we definitely wanted to read this one as well.

This is a humorous alphabet book, again featuring a musk ox (named Joseph) and a zebra. The narrative is very humorous and our girls loved the dialogue between the zebra and musk ox.

I loved that the book also teaches about musk oxen, such as where they
Laura Salas
Dec 05, 2012 Laura Salas rated it it was amazing
A IS FOR MUSK OX, by Erin Cabatingan. This is so funny (and I even learned a lot about musk oxen)! "F is for musk ox -- Because musk oxen have fur. And lots of it. Does this fur make me look fat?"

I love the way Musk Ox finds a way to be every single letter--except for M. "Well, I felt kinda bad about what happened back at the beginning of the book, so I figured the apple could have my spot."

This is a musk ox and a zebra with loads of personality. The relationship between them is a hoot--kids wi
How curious that two books with the exact same wacky theme should come out in the same year, but this book is strangely similar to Z Is for Moose, just replacing the moose with musk ox. I think they're both good, but the moose book probably gives for a better read aloud. This one felt longer, it's more "busy" and the musk ox is frankly quite a bit more cocky and obnoxious than the confused and out-of-place moose in Z Is for Moose. It may also be a better fit for a slightly older crowd, that is k ...more
Nov 16, 2012 Samantha rated it it was ok
Very, very similar to Z is for Moose by Bingham (which I LOVE LOVE LOVE), but substitute the Moose for a Musk Ox. Beginning with eating the apple which tradtitionally represents the letter A in alphabet books the musk ox turns up on every page of the alphabet and justifies why that letter should stand for musk ox.

Funny, but wordier than Bingham's book and the illustrations displayed some weird facial expressions for the musk ox and zebra. The zebra made angry faces that verged on scary for me. T
This works beautifully for a writing lesson on voice, and is a fantastic springboard for kids who have to do a report on an animal or a state or a person... It's not my pick for teaching the alphabet, but I do love how it can be used with older kids. And who can resist a musk ox who, when asked why do male musk oxen headbutt at twenty-five miles an hour, ten, twelve, sometimes twenty times, responds, "It's all for the ladies."
Oct 17, 2012 Kelsey rated it liked it
Shelves: k-2nd, humor, preschool
Age: Preschool - 1st grade

A funny story of a stubborn musk ox that insists on using the alphabet to describe himself because no one cares about the middle letter M. Although the Musk Ox chooses to use some different words, the repetition of "A is for Musk Ox," "B is for Musk Ox," "L is for musk ox" gets tedious after awhile. Still a funny tale with an unusual protagonist.
Mar 12, 2013 Pamela rated it liked it
Cute book, but I much preferred Z is for Moose by Laura Bingham. A is for Musk Ox is a picture book, yes, with some funny pictures, but the length of the text is much too long to use for a storytime.

I did, however, learn a lot about musk oxen that I didn't know before. :)
Samantha Davis-durham
Apr 06, 2015 Samantha Davis-durham rated it it was amazing
Have you ever wonder why musk ox are just so cool? this book tell you from a 2 z why there just so interesting. If you've ever had just burning desire to find out about these interesting creatures pick up this book it is a real page turner.
Stefanie Kellum
Jan 30, 2013 Stefanie Kellum rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
A hilarious alphabet book where the musk ox tells you why every letter could stand for musk ox. I love this!
Oct 10, 2012 GraceAnne rated it liked it
I suspect I just don't like anarchy in the alphabet. At least not today.
Jan 06, 2017 Cheryl rated it it was amazing
This was a debut?! I could totally imagine reading it over and over to my kids w/out getting tired of it. I love how the original alphabet book shows through Joseph's improvements, including a Rainbow that ends in the playpen full of baby musk ox. I will def. look for more by both creators.
Oct 25, 2016 Nancy rated it it was amazing
I read this to a group of four children, with three adults listening in. It had us all laughing at various times. :)
Must every alphabet book begin with “a is for apple?” Probably not. But would you recommend “a is for musk ox?” Zebra questions the stretch, after expressing frustration over Musk Ox eating his apple, “That doesn’t make sense. Musk ox doesn’t start with A. It doesn’t even have A in it.” Musk Ox’s admits that he is tired of his fairly anonymous placement in the middle. and then he educates Zebra on how musk oxen can be filed under the letter A, and so it begins: in some form or another Musk Ox ar ...more
I think this is the funniest book. I’ve already shared it with several teachers, and have more than one saying they “must” get the book! A zebra is going crazy with his arguments with a musk ox. They’re collaborating to create a new alphabet book, and the musk ox manages to find ways to be shared with every letter. He’s just so tired only being with the “M”, always in the middle, the place everyone seems to forget. There is “A Is For Musk Ox”, yes, because he’s “awesome”. This determined Musk O ...more
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Feb 02, 2013 Chrissy rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
A musk ox named Joseph is tired of being the middle of the alphabet, so he eats the "A is for apple" and decides he wants to take its place (later, he feels bad about taking the apple's place, so he gives his spot at "M" to the apple). It's funny that a zebra is the one trying to convince him to stay in his place because if the musk ox is tired of being in the middle, wouldn't the zebra be tired of being at the end? (yes, children's literature can spur on philosophical debate).

This is my kind of
Oct 21, 2014 Kristine rated it liked it
A is for musk ox because they live in the Arctic, which includes part of Alaska. Every letter of the alphabet is for musk ox in this book and along the way you learn a few facts about the musk ox such as: their underwool is called Qiviut, they lived during the time of Woolly mammoths, and the male musk oxen run 25 mph and then butt their heads agains one another "for the ladies."

I think this book would make a fun mentor text to inspire students to create their own alphabet book about a topic or
Liz Todd
Sep 05, 2013 Liz Todd rated it liked it
Shelves: picture-book, abc
There are lots of things that I enjoyed about this book. I loved the banter back and forth between the characters--funny, expressive and quite silly! I loved the embedded "musk ox" facts within the text--I've never been interested in musk oxen before! I loved the illustrations--so much to look at and explore on each page!

What made this book difficult for me was that it was hard to tell which character was talking. It made for a difficult read aloud because of this and I felt that the kids were
Lauren Suchomski
Sep 15, 2013 Lauren Suchomski rated it it was amazing
I love ABC books and this one has such an awesome sense of humor.

I read it to 3rd graders and while at first they were confused, they quickly got into the groove and enjoyed the book. They thought it was funny and laughed while also learning about the musk ox. We even made it into a mini research lesson because we had questions about the musk ox that the book didn't answer. (For your knowledge, there are still musk oxen around today.)

ABC books are great for older kids because they typically sti
Oct 19, 2012 Liz rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2012-13
Okay... I guess I have to say I really did like this book. Not one I would normally expect to go wild about but the antics of the musk ox as he works his way into pretty much the entire alphabet is pretty funny. Noticed that the crossed out items are also on the page somewhere. Fun and funny story. Good interaction between the characters!
I think it struck me just right tonight. I did laugh out loud a couple of times! (Illustrations fit, but not my favorite--cartoon type style...) Worth a read fo
Sep 25, 2015 Margaux rated it really liked it
Shelves: humor, picture-books
A musk Ox takes over the alphabet by explaining why musk oxen are represented by almost every letter. What a clever guy.

I could absolutely see using this book in a classroom setting: Read the book to the kids (enjoy the laughs it gives everyone), and then have each child go through the alphabet and say why every letter is for [insert child's name here].

A is for Emily because she loves artichokes (what child loves artichokes? I'm convinced none, but I also love artichokes, so there).
Sep 21, 2013 Beth rated it liked it
Shelves: libs642class
A Is for Musk Ox, by Erin Cabatingan is an alphabet book that includes a humorous story about a musk ox that is tired of being the example for the letter M. The author illustrates how musk ox can stand for all the letters in the alphabet. Along with the humor, it gives children the opporunity to think about description of letters in different ways. I like, for example, how it requires higher thinking to relate that musk ox is for f because musk oxen have fur. The use of adjectives in the story c ...more
Jul 05, 2013 Cherilyn rated it really liked it
A is for Musk Ox is a primary book that includes elements of fantasy as well as informational text.
A is for Musk Ox is a new twist on the traditional alphabet book. The two main characters in the book are a zebra and a musk ox. The animals both have the same goal; to create an alphabet book, however they have very different ideas of how this should be done. If you like to laugh while learning, then you will enjoy this book. Did you know that musk oxen actually have skirts? Read A is for Musk Ox
Dec 11, 2012 Cindy rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
Musk Ox is tired of always being in the middle just because he starts with M and that is in the middle of the alphabet. So he has decided to change what each letter in the alphabet stands for. He eat Zebra apple that starts his alphabet book, and then states that he is doing him a favor. This is a hilarious story about Musk Ox's need to feel important by finding how he can be tied to each of the letters of the alphabets. Zebra gets irritated by his redicoulous behavior. I chuckled all the way th ...more
Jan 03, 2013 Susie rated it really liked it
Very funny and clever. I think many of the jokes will go over kids' heads, but it's such a nice twist on alphabet books. It would be great to share this and then have intermediate kids create their own. A couple of times I thought the letters were stretched a little bit, but it was a pretty quick run through 26 letters. I read this because a friend tweeted a picture of her son reading it on Christmas morning! The expressions are a hoot!
Feb 02, 2013 Terri rated it it was amazing
What can I say? I love, Love, LOVE this alphabet book! Musk ox takes over the typical, common alphabet book and winds up sharing some fascinating information about his species. Who knew musk oxen have underfur called qiviut? Similar in approach to Elting's classic, Q Is for Duck, it offers a perfect model for writing, letting students present research findings on various topics in a similar manner by high jacking the alphabet.
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