Silly Suzy Goose

Petr Horacek, Author, Petr Horacek, Illustrator . Candlewick $14.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-7636-3040-9

Birds of a feather may flock together, but Suzy Goose is sick and tired of it: "I wish I could be different, she thought." Her species envy leads her to a series of improbable, comical encounters with animals big and small: she hangs upside-down with a velvety brown bat, gets a piggyback ride from an ostrich and swims with a seal. Horácek, working in mixed-media and cut-paper collage, sticks to cleanly outlined, relatively simple shapes, but his energized textures bring to mind Eric Carle's work: the ostrich's feathers fan out in a flurry of white and black brushstrokes that evoke an almost palpable downiness, while the seal's mostly submerged body seems to melt into a murky green sea. Suzy finally pushes her luck too far when she tries to rouse a magnificent orange lion with an aspirational "Rroarrhonk !" (Horácek amusingly zooms in on the lion's perturbed face), but she manages to make it back to her gaggle with her spunk intact. The text may be bare-bones ("If I was an ostrich, I could run really fast"), but the poster-like impact of the pictures, combined with Suzy's featherbrained adventure scheme, should strike a chord with young audiences. Ages 2-5. (Mar.)

Reviewed on: 02/13/2006
Release date: 02/01/2006
Genre: Children's
Paperback - 33 pages - 978-1-4063-0458-9
Board Books - 32 pages - 978-0-7636-4141-2
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