cover image Goose


Molly Bang. Blue Sky Press (AZ), $10.95 (40pp) ISBN 978-0-590-89005-2

The importance of accepting oneself and of appreciating differences in others is among the affirming messages in Bang's (The Paper Crane) deceptively simple tale, a kinder, gentler cousin of ""The Ugly Duckling."" Through spare but dynamic illustrations and minimal text, this small-format volume introduces a gosling raised by a family of woodchucks who teach her ""all they thought a youngster should know,"" including how to dig, swim and avoid hunters. Much loved by her adoptive family members, the goose is nevertheless sad because she knows she is ""different."" No one can make her feel better, so she sets off ""into the world to see what she could figure out by herself."" Tumbling off a high cliff, the desolate creature discovers a hidden talent: she can fly. And she does-straight back to her woodchuck home. Like other passages here, the concluding sentence (""You know, that goose surprised everyone, especially herself"") seems intentionally open-ended, leaving room for interpretation and inviting discussion on any number of issues, including adoption. A useful read-aloud, sized just right for a laptime one-on-one. All ages. (Oct.)