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My Friend Mac: 08/12/07
Clueless, negligent or absent parents are one of the cliches of children's fiction that annoys me especially when it serves no point beyond giving the protagonist carte blanche to run willy-nilly and get into mishaps (excuse me, have adventures). My Friend Mac is one of those books that falls into the trap for the soul purpose of uniting a young boy with a young moose.
Ultimately the story is supposed to be about responsibility, life lessons and growing up but it's done in a ham fisted way. Baptiste, the protagonist, eager to have a friend of his own and fueled by his father's stories of a best friend named Mac, wanders far into the forest and adopts a moose calf.
Any sensible parent at this point in to plot would either tell young Baptiste that he can't have a moose as a pet or if they did say yes (as these parents do), set some ground rules for how the moose should be cared for. These parents don't; instead they the moose grow up in the house causing havoc with everything until ultimately the moose becomes an adult bull and leaves of his own accord to find more of his kind.
It's only after the bull Mac nearly kills Baptiste that the parents start to listen to the real reason behind their son's desire for a moose friend. Baptiste is lonely and bored living with his parents out in the middle of no where. So in the end, Baptiste gets to go to school and finds a human friend named Mac. Oh joy.
The one nice thing I can say about My Friend Mac is about the illustrations. They are very well drawn and a good introduction to how moose change as they grow.