Goose

Laura Wall. Harper, $12.99 (48p) ISBN 978-0-06-232435-1
Debut talent Wall relays a friendship story with satisfying simplicity. Drawn in charcoal and finished digitally, the stripped-down art features breezily outlined cartoon figures that pop against bold backdrops. At home, a girl named Sophie plays with her dolls and dresses up in a boa and heels, “but this isn’t much fun by herself.” She also wishes she had a friend to play with at the park, where she plops down on the slide and sits on a swing. After a yellow oval appears at the edge of a blank page (“But wait. What’s that?”), a page turn reveals that it’s the bill of a goose, who befriends and plays with Sophie. Wall skillfully captures the emotions of Sophie and Goose—who remains silent save for one jubilant honk—through subtle facial cues. Though Sophie’s mother (seen only from the waist down) initially refuses her daughter’s request to bring Goose home, she reconsiders—for reasons unknown—providing a tidy happy ending and paving the way for future adventures (several sequels are already available in the U.K., where the book was first published). Ages 4–8. (Feb.)
Reviewed on: 12/08/2014
Release date: 02/01/2015
Genre: Children's
Paperback - 48 pages - 978-1-84135-912-0
Hardcover - 48 pages - 978-1-60727-891-7
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