cover image Duck, Duck, Goose?

Duck, Duck, Goose?

Katya Arnold. Holiday House, $16.95 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-8234-1296-9

Based on an animated film by the Russian director Vladimir Grigorievich Suteev, this eccentric tale describes a goose who, dissatisfied with her appearance, swaps body parts with other birds. ""Peacock is the most beautiful bird in the world because of his tail... I want it!"" the covetous goose declares. Sporting a swan's long neck, a pelican's beak, stork legs, a peacock's tail and a rooster's crow, Goose is delighted with her new look--until she needs to eat, swim (""Wait-a-doodle-doo,"" she calls) and escape from a fox. Russian-born Arnold's (Baba Yaga; Katya's Book of Mushrooms, reviewed Mar. 3) characteristically rough and rustic paintings, overlaid with black lines to resemble woodcuts, depict the gangly, strutting Goose with humor and vivacity. The sketchy lines make the geese's feathers look a little scruffy, and unconventional combinations of solid orange, magenta and red add further hearty impact. The grotesque appearance of the misshapen Goose and her attacker, a ferrety-looking fox, makes her return to normalcy a relief to readers as well. A quirky story imbued with the spirit of a folktale. Ages 4-8. (May)