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A Chocolate Moose for Dinner
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A Chocolate Moose for Dinner

4.19 of 5 stars 4.19  ·  rating details  ·  307 ratings  ·  50 reviews

A gorilla war? Car pools? Playing the piano by ear? It's no wonder a little girl is confused by some of the strange things she overhears her mommy and daddy saying. With his hilarious wordplay and zany illustrations, Fred Gwynne keeps children of all ages in stitches!
Paperback, 48 pages
Published January 6th 2005 by Aladdin Paperbacks (first published January 1st 1976)
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Community Reviews

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Lisa Vegan
Feb 26, 2011 Lisa Vegan rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: children who know how to read & spell & know the meanings of many words & phrases
I just recently learned that Fred Gwynne wrote picture books for children. I really wanted to read The King Who Rained but I’m unable to borrow a copy so I started with this book.

The idioms and homonyms are what make the book so humorous so it’s best enjoyed by readers who know how to read and spell and know the various meanings of words. If they’re pre-readers, the illustrations will definitely help with understanding, but I think independent readers will get the most out of this book.

I think I
This is one of my favorites! I stumbled upon this at the beginning of my teaching career. Some class in Colorado or someplace had read it and then drawn their own idioms. I adopted that project and have done it ever since.

Fred Gwynne, of course, played Herman Munster. Each page depicts a different idiom. Each idiom is accompanied by a picture that shows the literal meaning of the idiom. For instance, a chocolate moose is shown as the animal moose made of chocolate.

My students have great fun read
Charles Martin
This hilarious book is perfect for introducing students to idioms. The book follows a young girl as she attempts to decode common idioms her parents use. Each picture depicts her highly imaginative, literal depiction of a phrase; for example, one picture shows a bunch of cars swimming in and lounging around a pool with the words "Daddy says there should be more car pools." The only downside is that the book was written in 1976; therefore, some of the idioms are a bit outdated. The message, howev ...more
Jordan Brown
A Chocolate Moose for Dinner
Author and Illustrator: Fred Gwynne
Reading Level: Ages 4-7

Gwynne, Fred. (1976) A Chocolate Moose for Dinner. New York: Windmill Books

A Chocolate Moose for Dinner is the story of a little girl picturing the various things her parents talk about. She interprets what they say literally. For example, when her mother mentioned to the little girl that she had a chocolate moose for dinner, the little girl pictures an actual chocolate moose sitting with her at a dining table.
I took a call from a patron today who was looking for a kid's book and couldn't remember the name or the title. All she could tell me was that she thought it was written by the star of My Three Sons and that it had to do with literal interpretations of sayings.

I read this book and The King Who Rained a million times when I was little. I LOVED them both, but this one was my favorite. Mom still tells a story about the first time I saw a real (though dead & stuffed) moose in a museum and how I
Traci Bold
Fred Gwynne knows how to make me laugh. The story'A Chocolate Moose for Dinner' is literal and filled with fun.
sets the senses in motion to wrack my brain to find more literal expressions that are funny to think about.

Great read for the entire family. Maybe your family can come up with their stories like this for hilarity.

Sparks the imagination with clever sayings and illustrations.

Published by Aladdin Paperbacks.
We picked this book from out local library.
I remember when I was a kid I read the book The King Who Rained and I loved it. And when I saw this book I was like oh goodness what is going to be said now and taken to be made funny.
K's favorite parts are the following:
1.) Stories like these drive me up a wall. And this is where the girl is driving a car up the wall.
2.) And Daddy says he's going to tell me the story of the tortoise and the hair. Being as the hair is suppose to be a rabbit and not h
Mar 05, 2011 Dolly rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: parents reading with older children
Shelves: 2011, childrens, humor
This is a funny book; it's a book that has been recommended for its merits, not just because of the celebrity status of the author. It's not really a story, but really a series of witticisms and idioms in the English language that might confuse anyone who hadn't heard them their whole lives. When we read this book, we described these phrases as things that would make Amelia Bedelia do something quite silly. The illustrations are quite fun and the only issue I had at all was that our girls weren' ...more
I know I read this as a child. In fact, more than once. As soon as I opened the book I recognized it--like an old friend. Especially the picture of the undertoe! I remember that part the most because when I first read the book, I didn't know what an underto[w:] was either, but I was pretty sure it wasn't that. :-)

What was an amazing discovery to me this time around (being older and knowing just a bit more now than when I was ~6) was who the author was! I had no idea he wrote children's books! It
These funny puns are perfect for early elementary age students.
This book talks about the different misinterpretations a little girl has about what her parents are saying. It uses several different play-on-words that turn normal adult language into funny visual images. I think this book is great for children to read because it uses imagination with normal every day language. We hear play on words and puns every day, it is interesting to hear the way children interpret it. I think this story could be a great read aloud before an art lesson in which the childr ...more
I wouldn't read this cover to cover as a read aloud since some of the idioms are outdated. For example, "row in a single skull" with a play on the word "skull" and "scull." I think these days many people wouldn't understand this phrase anyway so I'd skip that page and a couple others. I really enjoyed the illustrated depictions of "held up a bank, spent years in the pen, he's on the lamb." Overall, a great book with some funny idioms and great illustrations.
Lisa the Librarian
I read this book as part of the Reading Passport program I developed for my school. It is from the Dewey 400's (Language)

The visual depictions of common idioms and phrases is truyly inspired! Although this is a picture book with very few words I'd recommend it more for children who are a bit older. The young ones might not understand the real meanings of the words and phrases used so would not get the humor and might even be further confused.
As a children's book this is a real miss in my book. It is more of an adult's book, but it is too simple to really be a children's book for adults. The premise is clever illustrations paired with idioms (some common and a few that are a bit outdated) that may confuse children (see the title for an example). It is a cute idea but my kids are totally confused by it and it takes me too long to explain all of the idioms to them.
A Chocolate Moose for Dinner is one of those children's books with adult sensibility. It is collection of synonyms and figures of speech that could easily confuse children and drive adults "up the wall." I'm glad many of these phrases, like "arms race" and "guerrilla war" have fallen from use. Another fun read for the whole family. Thanks Mr. Gwynne!
Grades K-12

This is one of my personal favorites. I loved the puns as a child, and now as an English teacher, I loved the idioms. The book is great to use with older students to point out common idioms. The students could practice writing and drawing their own literal take on an idiom.
Oct 17, 2007 Malbadeen rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: idioms
this is a book about idioms, it's fun, i like it.
One thing i learned from Sarah today: these books are written by the a guy that used to be on the "Munsters"
Another thing i learned today from Sarah: be careful is not one word - go figure
Erin E
Jul 11, 2011 Erin E rated it 5 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2010
I love this book! and if I can ever find a copy for my work resource it will be a delightful edition. I laughed the first time I read it, and love it so much, the children enjoy the imagery and adult enjoy the play on words.
I loved this series as a child! I thought they were hilarious, and the illustrations were fun and memorable. These books propelled me further and faster toward my English degrees than almost anything else I've read. :D
Dec 01, 2007 wendy rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: everyone!
yeah, it's a children's picture book but it was one of my favorites when i was little. plus it's written and illustrated by fred gywnne (yes, herman munster). he also wrote the king who rained. i love these books!!
Season Neal
A wonderful story to teach word play. Examples include: airplane hangers and holding up a bank. Students will love hearing all of the funny plays on words. A great tool to use when teaching creative writing.
Emily Graham
This book makes you think about how young children interpret the things we say as adults. This is a funny book that illustrates the literal meaning that kids might think we say when we tell them things.
Hilarious! This book takes a lot of words that we use every day, and turns them into an exciting story about a moose. Interestingly, this book will be funnier for adults more than children!
Jean Egan
Aug 13, 2012 Jean Egan added it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: children or children at heart
Recommended to Jean by: Grandmother
Another one of my favorite childhood books - plays with idioms that even a child could appreciate. It currently graces my coffee table in the living room with "The King who Rained".
This was my favorite book as a little girl. It is very funny and a great example of how confusing the English language can be. The illustrations are great and very memorable.
I very much enjoyed reading this book. It was a play on words. How a child understands "car pools" and "I'm going to sleep on it." Common phrases with different meanings.
Ms. D
Cute and funny. Shows how some kids may misinterpret some of the phrases we use. I don't know what children will think of this book though (will they understand the humour?).
"It's interesting and funny." That's the appeal for a seven-year old, but for teachers, this book is an excellent way to teach kids of all ages about homophones.
Jeannie Parker
This book is fun and interesting. This book as with some of Fred Gwynne's books has some idioms or something that I don't understand. I enjoyed how clever this book is.
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Fred Gwynne was a well-known actor in addition to being a renowned children's author. Best known as Herman Munster from the sitcom The Munsters, Gwynne's books such as The King Who Rained and A Chocolate Moose for Dinner employed clever homonym wordplay for lighthearted humor that have delighted children for generations. Altogether, Gwynne published nine books over a long career.
More about Fred Gwynne...
The King Who Rained (Stories to Go!) A Little Pigeon Toad The Sixteen Hand Horse Pondlarker Easy To See Why

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