Goose’s friends beg him to tell them his wonderful stories, which they then act out when they play. The trouble is, Goose is always the hero.
Text appears in an easy-to-read font for those who are taking their first steps toward independent reading. The gouache illustrations are big, colorful and uncluttered so youngsters immediately recognize Squirrel, Beaver and Porcupine’s increasing unhappiness at playing second-string all the time. In a scene right out of preschool, the trio confronts Goose: “You always play the hero. Why can’t we take turns?” A wolf overhears them arguing, and, in a shift that feels more like real-life stranger-danger than fairy-tale big bad wolf, he leaps out to eat them. Goose’s friends escape, but Goose is caught and must use his wits to stay alive. He comes up with his biggest tale ever about a Wem—Wolf-Eating Monster—which the trusted trio enacts, surprising even Goose. Branches shake and a voice bellows (represented in big balloon type), “YUM, YUM, I smell a wolf …” Wolf bolts, and Goose is relieved to see his friends—true heroes—emerging from the trees.
Children will relish the scene of the happy reunion with a grateful Goose, who begins a new story about his best friends. (Picture book. 3-6)