Monday, 24 September 2012
Goose Goes to the Zoo, by Laura Wall
Goose Goes to the Zoo features classic Miffy-like illustrations that are simple, bold and bright. And its a cute little story about friendship to boot.
Goose is Sophie’s best friend, they like to do everything together. But Sophie is very aware that Goose is different to her, that there are things Goose likes which she doesn’t like, and things Goose can do which she cannot. Similarly, there are things she can do that Goose can’t - like go to school - and Sophie worries that when she’s at school Goose gets lonely. Generously, she decides maybe Goose could do with another friend, so off they trip to the zoo to see who they can find. They meet several different animals, but none of them are quite right. And then... they find some geese! Who are just like Goose and can do all the same things he can! Sophie is so happy that Goose has found some more friends, but she is sad too because now Goose has other friends to play with. Maybe he won’t want to play with her anymore? But Goose is just the right type of friend - just because he has new friends doesn’t mean he has forgotten Sophie.
Laura Wall’s plain illustrations and short sentences, despite being very basic, somehow manage to convey a whole depth of meaning. Even though they're essentially 'just' line drawings, both Goose and Sophie are wonderfully expressive and amusing. I particularly love the page where the geese appear: its so simple, but it really makes me smile - a page full of different geese saying “honk! honk honk!” In addition, the story is pure and true; it doesn’t try to do too much, instead getting the balance just right, and reminds me of the divine Gossie and Friends series by Olivier Dunrea, which I just love.
So, thumbs up to Goose Goes to the Zoo.