A "madcap moose adventure" is how Diablo author Lisa M. Bakos describes her latest children's picture book, "Too Many Moose!"
Released earlier this month and featuring illustrations by Mark Chambers, "Too Many Moose!" is the story of Martha, a young girl who decides to order a moose in the mail. She orders more and more moose until mischief and mayhem ensue. In the end, Martha discovers that less is more in Bakos' alliterative, lyrical children's tale.
Bakos, a UCLA graduate and married mother of three children, has lived in California most of her life, including the past 18 years in Diablo. She said she enjoys writing children's books when not caring for her loving but "slightly crazy" family.
"I live with a caboodle of cover hogs, including but not limited to my husband, three kids, two dogs and three cats," she said. "Keeping me busy in between are several chickens who sleep outside in a coop -- much to their chagrin."
Animals have always had a special place in Bakos' heart, as shown by the number and variety of pets in her care. And it was her fantasy of owning a moose that was the source of inspiration for "Too Many Moose!"
"The idea of ordering this unusual pet in the mail was a fun storyline to run with and a way to indulge in my fantasy," she said. "Adding a moose -- or two or three -- seemed like the next logical step."
"Too Many Moose!" -- Bakos' second children's book -- is written in rhyme, which she said proved to be an enjoyable challenge for her. She explained that the meter of rhymes has to be perfect to make for a good read and that rhyming is not the easiest task.
Readers will also find the letter "M" plays a big role in "Too Many Moose!" To develop imaginative use of the letter "M," Bakos found help the old-school way.
"Once I came up with the 'moose in the mail' theme, I relied heavily on my thesaurus for as many fun and alliterative 'M' words I could find to integrate into the book," she said. "I was amazed and mesmerized at the immense amount of marvelously magical 'M' words."
Since the release of "Too Many Moose!" on July 5, Bakos said she is excited to visit a multitude of schools this fall and host a number of events for her new book. She said she hopes that kids and parents will enjoy her rhymes as much as she has enjoyed writing them.
For more information about her books and upcoming author appearances, visit Bakos' website.