cover image Just You and Me

Just You and Me

Sam McBratney. Candlewick Press (MA), $15.99 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-7636-0436-3

McBratney and Bates (The Dark at the Top of the Stairs) sets another snuggly mood in this tale of a gosling and gander searching for shelter from a storm. When rain threatens, Gander Goose and Little Goosey hurry to find a place to hide. But each potential shelter already hosts an inhabitant--a mouse, a squirrel or a rabbit--and Little Goosey doesn't want anybody else around ""when the thunder comes. Just me and you."" In a comic twist, the pair finally settles into a secluded spot, only to discover, after the storm, that all the others had joined them anyway. McBratney's serene prose is as warm as a sheltering embrace, and he has a gift for zeroing in on childhood's universal longings. His audience will quickly see themselves reflected in Little Goosey's need to have Gander Goose all to herself. In a series of pastoral scenes rendered in watercolor and colored pencil and laced with gentle humor, Bates echoes the story's quiet tone and deftly outlines the affectionate relationship between the gander and his little charge. Small panel vignettes and inset portraits alternate with full-page artwork, lending additional drama and fluidity to the story, as well as a great deal of visual appeal. This pair of seasoned collaborators has delivered a winning return engagement. Ages 2-6. (Mar.)