You and Me

Martine Kindermans, Author, Martine Kindermans, Illustrator, Sasha Quinton, Translator , trans. from the German by Sasha Quinton. Philomel $15.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-399-24471-1

Despite its graceful, heartfelt watercolors, Kindermans's tribute to a bond between a goose and gosling unfortunately brings to mind the '70s ballad "You and Me Against the World." "We could travel the sea's bright sands,/ we cold climb the highest lands," goes a typical couplet, "or rest beneath the tallest tree,/ still all we'd need is you and me." The contemplative pictures follow the wanderings of the two through an austere but rose-tinted landscape. By turns realistic (a trip to the beach) and fanciful (the duo is seen scaling the globe, from the perspective of outer space), their travels finally land the pair on a familiar sofa ("For we are dear and trusted friends,/ and I will help you home again"). To Kindermans's credit, the gosling and goose emerge not just as closely bonded but also as distinctive and recognizable personalities, and many of the pictures express an authentic tenderness. The opening spread, for instance, finds the two beak-to-beak and pressing their wings together in a loving patty cake. Her pictures' quiet beauty goes a long way to counteract the greeting card-glibness of the text, which will likely appeal more to adults than to children. Ages 3-up. (Jan.)

Reviewed on: 12/05/2005
Release date: 02/01/2006
Paperback - 32 pages - 978-0-448-46377-3
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