THE GEESE MARCH IN STEP by Jean-François Dumont
Kirkus Star


Age Range: 4 - 8
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Zita, an innocently precocious gosling, can’t find common ground with the tradition of marching in step down to the pond in the morning.

And who can blame Zita? Not only does Igor, the leader of the flock, have them goose-stepping, but there’s a whiff of the jackboot, too. Zita is out of step, and Igor soon calls her out. Zita wants to respond that she isn’t used to marching in step (and what’s the point anyway), but Igor just kicks Zita out of the parade. Back in the farmyard, Zita splashes through the puddles in dismay. “Why am I not like the other geese? One, two; one, two; They are always so obedient and so focused!” Well, Zita’s not. Dumont shapes Zita to be vulnerable and a bit subversive and sets her down in a very inviting French farmyard surrounded by a rolling landscape, all painted in saturated colors that have a chalky softness. As Zita mopes rhythmically about the yard—“splash sniff splash and splash again sniff splash”—the other animals start to listen. They pick up on her Charlie Parker bebop and join in. Woodpecker, rooster, turkey, sheep (“That beat’s enough to uncurl a sheep’s wool!”) add their own syncopated vibes and make their way, Mardi Gras style, down to the pond—where all the other geese (except Igor) join in.

A jazzy, eye-catching take on the ancient beat of the distant drummer. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: April 1st, 2014
ISBN: 978-0-8028-5443-8
Page count: 33pp
Publisher: Eerdmans
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1st, 2014


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