cover image Mindi and the Goose No One Else Could See

Mindi and the Goose No One Else Could See

Sam McBratney, illus. by Linda Ólafsdóttir. Candlewick, $16.99 (40p) ISBN 978-1-5362-1281-5

Mindi can’t sleep: there’s a big, scary goose in her room that enters “as quietly as a thought comes into your head,” but her parents don’t see it. Ólafsdóttir (Play?) represents it as a sinuous, goose-shaped shadow of various objects in the child’s room. “Well, you’ll just have to close your eyes and make it not real,” her mother says. Mindi’s father, meanwhile, consults a wise old farmer named Austen, walking to Austen’s hillside farm, then returning there with Mindi. A young goat strolls into the kitchen, and Mindi asks its name. “Oh, I have so many goats that I have run out of names,” Austen says. “I would call her Black-and-Whitey,” Mindi says. “Perfect,” he responds. And his solution to Mindi’s goose problem is similarly collaborative and respectful. Winsome mixed-media spreads and vignettes by Ólafsdóttir alternate between the white characters’ cozy interiors and farm scenes, while chapter book–like writing by McBratney (Guess How Much I Love You) develops Austen as a character by witnessing the way he attends to Black-and-Whitey’s needs, prefiguring the way he will attend to Mindi’s. McBratney shows what it’s like to listen authentically to children—and to believe them. Ages 3–7. [em](Mar.) [/em]