Goose has a hard time conveying to his gaggle of friends what he really wants.
“I’m feeling sad. I think I need—” Goose says, but then he is interrupted by his overly helpful pals. They suggest a variety of cheering-up activities, such as a game of hide-and-seek, splashing in puddles and a happy song, but keep missing the mark. In a bold, double-page spread with a telling headshot of Goose pleading, “A HUG!” the buddies finally let Goose finish the request. The last two pages show the gang engaging in a group hug with the accompanying punch line, “Well, why didn’t you say so?” Hills’ double-page–spread paintings, depicting a bucolic, green landscape and his playful cast of birds, are as expressive as ever. He expertly conveys emotions through subtle tilts of heads and placement of eyes and eyebrows. Like other Duck & Goose titles, the tale is told only in dialogue, and each character’s lines caption their actions. Goose’s predicament is infinitely familiar to toddlers, who can have difficulties expressing their wants and needs.
The sparkly, tactile words on the cover will attract young readers, but what’s inside will provide real emotional resonance. (Board book. 18 mos.-3)