Fanciful new animals are introduced in pictures and simple poetry.
When is a goose not just a goose? When she's crossed with another, unlikely animal. Or maybe Zelda's just pretending. A clear overlay produces a fantastic new creature on each right-hand page, and a two-line verse on each left-hand page describes it: "GOOSEPHANT. If I caught a cold, then I suppose / I'd need an hour to blow my nose." Opposite, the yellow goose's body and wing are clearly visible, with elephant legs, ears, tail and trunk overlaid. Readers then get the extra fun of pulling back the clear layer to reveal Zelda the goose beneath. There are 11 animals in all, including a Goosnail, Chamelegoose (whose verse is backgrounded by mottled green camouflage), Googiraffe, Goosey Bee (with a honeycomb background), Goosey Glowworm ("I'm not afraid to go out at night"), Goosquid ("I can squirt out clouds of ink. / Good to hide in—not to drink!"), Goosey Peacock, Ladybug Goose, Whalegoose, and Butterfloose. Loth's final two-page spread offers a nifty poetic lesson. Zelda can pretend to be all of these other creatures, but she's always herself, and just what she wants to be. Loth's minimal illustrations are, as always, perfection, though invented animals (and their names) are hit-and-miss. Backgrounds nicely complement both verses and their matching creatures.
The accessibility of the text and the treat of revealing Zelda should especially delight the very young. (Picture book. 3-5)