Sunday, April 19, 2009

Little Gander Wanders: Little Goose by David Mraz and Margot Apple

What is the essence of a mother? Authors and poets and artists have pondered the subject, but few have approached it from the viewpoint of a gosling.

Little Goose liked pebbles and puddles, marbles and bubbles.

Baskets and buckets, and balls that roll.

He liked the number 8 and the letter O, and how things made his eyes go 'round and 'round without ever stopping.

"What is it about those things?" he wondered.

Little Goose runs off to tell his mother that he is going on a quest of find out why he likes round things so much. "The world is a big place," she advises, "But if you keep one wing over water, your wing and the water will bring you home to me."

Little Goose finds things that go 'round and 'round as he circumnavigates the pond. Turtle has a nice round rock on which to sun himself. Frog has flies which circle his head, and Mouse has his little round burrow beneath a round mousehole entryway. But Little Goose finds the round rock too slippery. The flies' buzzing around his head just make him dizzy, and Mouse's small house is too tight even for a tiny gosling.

It is only when he makes his way around the whole pond that he finds himself back where his mother is nibbling in the sedge along the edge, and when she greets him with a big hug, wrapping her feathered wings 'round and 'round him, Little Goose suddenly realizes why round things appeal to him so much.

It was his mama's wings, soft as ever, that made him cozy and comfy and happy all over, from side to side and bottom to top, that went around and around him, and that never stopped.

Margot Apple's soft, textured pencil drawings and David Mraz' gentle story make Little Goose, with its theme of the essence of motherhood, a good choice for Mother's Day story times.

Margot Apple is also the noted illustrator of those rhyming toddler favorites, the Sheep in a Jeep series.

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