A little wintery weather can’t dampen these goslings’ love of water.
As the title says, Ruby and Rufus, two anthropomorphic goslings, “love the water!” After being introduced on facing pages, Ruby, sporting a red bathing cap with white spots, and Rufus, a red-and-white–striped one, cavort in the pond. Ruby swan dives, and Rufus back dives. They swim all day, in all kinds of weather. The illustrations, like the text, are spare, with blue gouache restrained by a thin ink line at the bottoms of the pages to indicate water and lots of open, white space on the upper two-thirds. Props, including a striped inner tube and environmental details, such as falling leaves to show windy weather, embellish the changing scenes, and other small creatures create a sense of conviviality amid the pond setting. A shift at the middle of the book shows the goslings scampering across a light green surface with snow falling around them. The facing page reads “The water is frozen!” and shows a mottled blue surface. After testing the ice, Ruby and Rufus find just as many ways to enjoy it as they did their pond in warmer weather—sliding, tubing, and gliding across its surface. A closing image of a snow-gosling with a carrot beak is the cherry on top of this sweet avian friendship story.
There’s lots to love here. (Picture book. 2-4)