What Should A Clever Moose Eat? is not the usual sort of book we review here but we’re an open-minded bunch, and there is no reason to not enjoy non-fiction books just as much as fiction books.

Clever MooseAfter 30 years of research, John Pastor has released this highly informative look at the interconnecting ecological, geological and environmental issues of the North Woods.

“How long should a leaf live? When should blueberries ripen? And what should a clever moose eat? Questions like these may seem simple or downright strange—yet they form the backbone of natural history, a discipline that fostered some of our most important scientific theories, from natural selection to glaciation. Through careful, patient observations of the organisms that live in an area, their distributions, and how they interact with other species, we gain a more complete picture of the world around us, and our place in it.

In What Should a Clever Moose Eat?, John Pastor explores the natural history of the North Woods, an immense and complex forest that stretches from the western shore of Lake Superior to the far coast of Newfoundland. The North Woods is one of the most ecologically and geologically interesting places on the planet, with a host of natural history questions arising from each spruce or sugar maple. From the geological history of the region to the shapes of leaves and the relationship between aspens, caterpillars, and predators, Pastor delves into a captivating range of topics as diverse as the North Woods themselves. Through his meticulous observations of the natural world, scientists and non-scientists alike learn to ask natural history questions and form their own theories, gaining a greater understanding of and love for the North Woods—and other natural places precious to them”

I was a little bit worried that a book like this would be too dry and academic for me, even with the A Level Environmental Studies exam I’m studying for and, in truth, my fears were partially realised. There were elements in the book that dragged a little as it was more geared towards people with a more thorough academic background.

For the most part, however, the book was appropriate for casual readers and for those looking for a more in depth look. Pastor has an engaging style and has structured the book in such a way that you could read it in one go or dip in and out of it.
He draws a very vivid picture of the North Woods and the way that all aspects of the area interconnect and depend upon the others. Reading this book, you get a clear understanding of why this area is like it is, why the beavers are important, why the leaves are the way they area and, yes, what a clever moose really should eat!

It’s not for eveyone, but this was 3 bites for me.

Rachel Brazil
Although well-known amongst my family for my habit of falling asleep with a book on my face, I’ve not let the constant face bruises deter me from indulging in my favourite pastime. There is no famine, only feast, in my house with every flavour of book available for consumption. I’m happy to sample almost anything from the smorgasbord of literature available but can always be tempted with a juicy murder mystery or sweet little romance.

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