GOOSE’S STORY by Cari Best

GOOSE’S STORY

by & illustrated by
Age Range: 5 - 8
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KIRKUS REVIEW

Early one spring, a girl is delighted when a flock of Canada geese arrive in her yard, but she is stricken when she realizes one of the geese has an injured foot. The next day, the foot is gone, and the girl wonders how a one-legged goose can possibly survive. In spite of her parents’ advice to let the wild animal learn to survive on its own, the girl feeds Goose cracked corn and keeps an eye out for her. One day in the fall, the geese are gone—all of them. The seasons turn, and the geese return, but this time, it’s only two: Goose, still with a foot missing, and a big, healthy gander. Best of all, seven goslings soon appear—all with both feet intact. The heartbreaking, ultimately hopeful story is based on a real goose from author Best’s (Shrinking Violet, 2001, etc.) own yard, making the happy ending touching rather than overly sentimental. The interplay between the text and the earthy, cut-paper illustrations is remarkable; while the text does not spell out what’s happened to Goose’s foot, the images of the injured limb evoke shock and sadness. Meade (Queenie Farmer Had Fifteen Daughters, p. 488, etc.) employs a woodsy palette of browns, greens, and blues. A variety of perspectives draws readers into the text: some scenes are portrayed from the girl’s point of view, others from Goose’s, some from the ground, some from the sky. Art and story complement each another again at the end: the final, spot illustration of Goose nuzzling one of her goslings on the pond while the girl’s oar drips in the background is an enlarged portion of the previous spread, and the girl’s amazed words repeat: “ ‘Look at you,’ I whisper, ‘Look at you.’ ” Quietly joyful, satisfyingly optimistic. (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: May 1st, 2002
ISBN: 0-374-32750-5
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Melanie Kroupa/Farrar, Straus & Giroux
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15th, 2002




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