The endearing, honey-colored hero of James Bear's Pie (1992), ""a rugby player, a singer, and a vegetarian,"" plays a gentle...

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JAMES BEAR AND THE GOOSE GATHERING

The endearing, honey-colored hero of James Bear's Pie (1992), ""a rugby player, a singer, and a vegetarian,"" plays a gentle game with the crickets and caterpillars when he's not munching the grasses they inhabit and enjoys singing in ""the Trout and Cricket Choir."" His friend Skunk, skeptical about the trout (they sing ""quietly,"" Bear explains), makes him promise not to trick the gullible geese with his stories. But they want a story; Bear can't resist obliging, and soon the geese are huddled in a hole Bear's dug, happily imagining the ""golden age"" he's described and, apparently, humming. But are they? Slyly, Bear admits, ""Yes and no."" The delicately whimsical story is enhanced by Franco-Feeny's affectionate, meticulously detailed art, depicting this peaceable kingdom with rare humor and imagination. Perhaps because Latimer is never tempted by sentimentality, and because his playful stories always seem to have intriguing philosophical subtexts, they are never insubstantial. This one might be profitably compared with MacLachlan's The Facts and Fictions of Minna Pratt (1988); it will be fun to discover what younger children make of it.

Pub Date: March 1, 1994

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Scribners

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 1994

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