THE OTHER GOOSE by Judith Kerr


by & illustrated by
Age Range: 4 - 8
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Kerr, author of the beloved Mog books, uses soft, colored pencils and a Mother Goose–meets–The Ugly Duckling story to weave an uneven tale about a lonely goose in search of a mate. As the only goose on the town pond, Katerina wants the other goose—the one she sees reflected in the shiny side of a car—to “come out of the car” and be her friend. When Katerina stops a robbery at the bank, the townspeople reward her; the next day, the shiny car pulls up, the door opens, and Charlie, Katerina’s male counterpart, “comes out of the car.” The narrative stands on the interplay between text and picture; Kerr’s scrawling colored-pencil illustrations complement her text nicely, adding humor where it is lacking. The choice of colored pencils as a medium creates the look of a child’s drawings, simple and straightforward. Kerr’s dialogue is patchy, at times unoriginal, and yet sometimes wonderfully clever. When Katerina sees the robber carrying a bag, she thinks, “it was a goose-sized bag and there was something in it. There was a goose-sized thing in that goose-sized bag.” The logic here follows nicely, as Katerina pieces together the scene and comes to the realization that something is wrong. Yet many of Katerina’s actions seem forced, as if placed strategically to arrive at the final “wink” in the story—the “coming out of the car” play on words. While young and old audiences alike will get a kick out of this joke, the wordplay alone does not hold up as the backbone of the work. New readers will be able to “read” the pictures, without ever knowing a word. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: June 1st, 2002
ISBN: 0-06-008254-2
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: HarperCollins
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15th, 2002


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