NANCY, THE LITTLE GOSLING

Eve Tharlet, Author, Eve Tharlet, Illustrator , trans. from the French by Charise Myngheer. Penguin/Minedition $14.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-698-40008-5

Nancy is always the odd gosling out in this tale by Tharlet (illustrator of the Davy books). When Mrs. Green marches her class of young geese ("Left foot first"), the heroine stays put, not knowing right from left. The opening spread shows the befuddled gosling staring somewhat plaintively at her uncooperative webbed feet. Nancy is also easily distracted by a butterfly during flying lessons and fears her swimming instructions because she dislikes the water. The grounds of a chateau act as schoolroom for the goslings' lessons, with varied perspectives offering visual interest (readers get a tummy-tickling bird's eye–view in one scene). The avian pupils' animated expressions and their neckerchiefs of fashionably tied flower stems add charm to the softly muted blues and greens of the watercolor backdrops. (Mrs. Green sports a lily pad bonnet fastened under her chin, while Nancy stands out in a scarf made from a colorfully striped sock.) Her fascination with butterflies (she wants to be a butterfly researcher when she grows up) finally draws the feathered heroine out onto the pond, and a feel-good ending finds the other geese—even Mrs. Green—learning something new from nonconformist Nancy. This appealing book offers a lighthearted departure point for discussions about individualism, tolerance and feelings. Ages 4-up. (Jan.)

Reviewed on: 01/31/2005
Release date: 02/01/2005
Genre: Children's
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