The understated, concrete-thinking best friends enjoy Halloween.
Goose is a joy. When asked on Oct. 30 what he will be tomorrow, he replies, “Well, I think I will be myself, Duck. It’s important to always be yourself.” Duck is going to be a ghost, and Thistle, who pops up to share her excitement with the duo, won’t tell what she will be—it’s a secret. But they should “beware the swamp monster!” Even knowing Duck will dress as a ghost, Goose is still scared of his friend until the latter points out his signature feet. But both are still worried about that swamp monster (readers are in on it, as an earlier illustration shows Thistle getting ready down at the water, some green slime under her wing). Trick-or-treating amid the forest residents is fun until an owl-cum-daisy tells them a swamp monster’s been looking for them, and here it comes! The two, hiding in a bush, believe they are goners as they hear the feet getting closer. But then Goose, dressed as a brave superhero, points out that it’s two to one, and they leap out to frighten the monster away, downplaying the scariness of Thistle’s costume now that they know the truth. Goose and Duck are wonderfully childlike in their innocence and naiveté, echoed in Hills’ illustrations. While costumed, the characters are never scary, and readers will easily be able to identify each one.
Gentle Halloween fun from two beloved friends. (Picture book. 3-6)