New Children’s Book Release ~ Mark the Missing Moose by Lisa Tortorello

 photo 18176477_zpsdcc7980c.jpgGood morning, Paul here today with the release of my friend and fellow children’s author Lisa Tortorello’s newest book Mark the Missing Moose. Lisa is a teacher in the Chicago Public School system and her experience with children certainly shines through in this book. Mark the Missing Mouse is published by Tate Publishing and get this, it’s available as an audiobook! Before I get to my review, lets take a look at the Goodreads blurb:

Jimmy was on cloud nine during Show and Tell when his classmates cheered for him and his best friend, Mark the Moose. That happiness quickly ended when Mark went from being Jimmy’s sidekick to becoming the missing moose.

Saddened and angry, Jimmy didn’t want to talk to anyone, not even his own mother. His best friend was gone and he was all alone!

When it was time for Show and Tell again, Jimmy didn’t want any part of it until he heard what his friend Joe had to say…

Follow Jimmy as he discovers that opening up and letting others in can really help him out.

This is a story to help children learn the importance of talking opening and honestly -sharing their feelings- even if it seems unbearable at the time.

Now for a bit about Lisa (also from Goodreads):

I am a Chicago native. As a child, I spent many of my “growing up” years working at Deno’s Jewelry Store. I went to college at Purdue University where I earned my Bachelor of Arts degree. After college, I began teaching in the Archdiocese of Chicago. I spent 10 years there. After that, I began teaching in the Chicago Public School system and am still currently teaching there today continuing to inspire the youth in my classroom.

I have always had a love of reading and that fostered my interest in writing.
Currently, I am the author of three books.

My Hero, My Ding – a Memoir of a Girl and Her Grandfather

The Moose at the Manger – a children’s Christmas story filled with magic while keeping Christ is Christmas!

Mark the Missing Moose- a children’s book to be released soon! To learn more go to

I enjoy reading, writing, math, music, and computers. I live with my husband, Charlie and our massive moose collection.

Now for my review:

What I liked best: I love the message. I have to admit that I have not lost too many people close to me (thankfully). I have lost all my grandparents, but except for my paternal grandmother I was quite young. I did, however, lose my beloved dog about 3 years ago. That, to me, was devastating. He was my best friend and never wanted anything more than to spend time with me. I think about this experience and am really able to appreciate the message in Mark the Missing Moose. It is very important to talk about the things that make us sad, or upset us. Not only is this message important, it is beautifully delivered to Jimmy in the book. The illustrations deserve an honorable mention in the “what I liked best” category.

What missed a bit: Not a thing. It’s not too often that I say this, but it is truly the case with Mark

Overall: A beautiful book and a must read for classrooms, libraries, and parents alike. The content and dialogue is perfect for young readers and it is perfect for read alouds. The message will be well received and the illustrations are sure to entertain and captivate. I am only sorry that I was not able to review the audio book. Come to think of it, I just might purchase and listen to it myself.

Share A Heart

Indie author-friendly freelance editor, children's book blogger for picture books through YA, kid lit, SF/fantasy lover with special fondness for middle grade, pun-loving SCBWI member, meter-maid for poetry and rhyming picture books.


  1. I love the message underlying this book – it is definitely an important skill to learn to be able to open up and talk about your feelings. Great topic! We reviewed the Moose at the Manger last year – Lisa is fabulous! I’m visiting from the Booknificent Thursday Link Up Party! 🙂

  2. Hi Paul,
    Thanks for the wonderful review on Mark the Missing Moose! I read this book to my 6th grade class just yesterday. I used it as a read aloud (and put the pdf on the “big screen”). Afterwards, we took the book apart looking for mood, tone, literary devices, etc. But, most importantly, we had a good discussion about what happened to Jimmy. A question was brought up – is it better for parents to tell the truth to their children even if it is something sad, or should they sugar-coat it. Most students said they’d rather hear the truth right away and a few said that if your parents lie to you about some things, how do you know when they are telling the truth. Very interesting…

    Didn’t mean to ramble. Thanks again Paul and I am looking forward to Lionel’s next adventure!

    • Hi Lisa,
      My pleasure! I’m so happy to have had to opportunity to read it and help spread the word. I love that discussion. I firmly believe it is better to tell the truth. Both my wife and my parents have had situations early in their lives that they did not tell the truth, and they found themselves explaining things to their adult children. I’m not judging them, I think we all try to do what we think is the right thing at the time, but my point is you really can’t go too far wrong with the truth. It is good to talk about it as Jimmy learned. Now I’m rambling. Have a great night and don’t hesitate to reach out if I can help in any other way.


    • Wow Lisa,

      That classroom discussion sounds awesome. I wonder if 6th graders have noticed that if people told each other the truth, half the sitcoms on tv would be without scripts.

      Thanks Paul and Lisa. What a great addition to Booknificent Thursday


    • Hi Daddynificent (Daniel),
      Thanks so much for stopping by and for the great comments. I got a hearty laugh out of the one about sitcoms 🙂 Have a great day!


    • Mommynificent this time – I just had to stop by too! This book looks so good, and I’m really interested in the Moose at the Manger as well! That might be my Advent gift to myself…I mean, my kids 🙂 this year.

      I love what Lisa shared about the discussion she had with her students! I agree so much with the students that the truth is always best!!!

      Oh, and Lisa, if you ever need any more reviewers for any of your books, please keep us at and in mind! Your books look like the kind that quickly become favorites in our house!

      Thanks for sharing at Booknificent last week! Hope to see you again this week.

    • Hi Mommynificent (Tina),
      Thanks so much for stopping by and for the link up! I really appreciate all the hard work you put into that. I appreciate the kind words as I’m sure Lisa does. It is a wonderful book and Lisa is a wonderful person! I hope you enjoy it!


    • Thanks Daddynificent and Mommynificent for taking time to comment on my book(s). So true about the TV sitcoms. 🙂 I am going to check out your sites. I am always interested in more reviewers. Currently I have a series of “Young Reviewers” (children who read and wrote reviews about Mark the Missing Moose) that I am posting to my blog. It’s very interesting to read their feedback too. I would love for my books to be used for homeschoolers, but I do not know the first step to getting started with that. Thanks again for stopping by!

  3. Hi Paul and Lisa, the message in ‘Mark and the Missing Moose’ sounds greatly important to children (and really, everyone else as well). Losing a best friend is devastating and kids may not always know how to talk about it. Congratulations on the book release!

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