Gideon is a ruddy little goose who likes to play. All day. With boundless energy, he dashes, hops, scoots and scurries across the farmyard in search of adventure. In the piggery he plays chase-the-piglet. In the sheep house he bounces on the ewe. In a rare moment of stillness, he plays quietly with the turtle, gently looking, never moving. But Gideon can’t play all day. Mama Goose keeps interrupting his fun by calling for naptime. Gideon’s response is familiar to caregivers far and wide: “No nap! I’m playing!” A defiant naptime battle to be sure, but tiny Gideon also embodies a toddler’s insatiable curiosity. Why should he sleep when there’s so much to do and see? Familiar clean, white backdrops frame each scene, and Gideon’s wide-mouthed exuberance echoes his feathered friends from previous works. Gideon doesn’t show many signs of tiring, but the lumpy, striped octopus that he drags everywhere looks more bedraggled with each romp. Young readers will relate to Gideon’s assertion of control; adult readers will smile knowingly when he finally starts to snooze.
Dunrea has proven himself a master of child behavior (and waterfowl)—let’s hope the gaggle keeps growing. (Picture book. 2-5)