That’s what literal-minded Goose wants to know when, seated among various animal pals playing the familiar circle game, callers keep tagging the “goose”—but the other animals, not the actual goose in their midst. Continually bypassed, Goose becomes incensed and increasingly disruptive. Rabbit, irate after repeated attempts to calm Goose down with assurances that eventually everyone will have a turn, demands order. Goose presents a chart that lists physical characteristics of geese and nongeese! By now civility is in shambles, and furious Rabbit threatens to end the game. Chastened, players reconvene, the game resumes, and lo, Goose is finally tagged! But then…a new group of (hint) waddling players comes along—just when it’s Goose’s turn to be the caller—throwing an unexpected, hilarious wrench into the proceedings and bringing the story to a riotous conclusion. This honking good tale is told entirely through speech balloons, with dialogue that reveals much about characters’ distinctive personalities; additional comic relief is supplied by a trio of red squirrels, wryly commenting on the goings-on from their tree perch. Delicate cartoon illustrations add wit and humorous energy to the frenetic events, including expressive faces and the dapper attire in which the players are dressed: Goose sports a backward blue baseball cap, for instance.
Giggling readers won’t duck out from playing the game once they’ve savored this funny tale. (Picture book. 4-7)