- I Am Goose! by Dorothia Rohner
Rohner, Dorothia I Am Goose!; illus. by Vanya Nastanlieva. Clarion, 2020 [32p] Trade ed. ISBN 978-1-328-84159-9 $17.99 E-book ed. ISBN 978-0-358-16722-8 $12.99 Reviewed from galleys R 3-6 yrs
Rabbit kindly lets Goose join the forest animals' game of Duck, Duck, Goose, but Goose ruins it by throwing a tantrum when other animals are called "goose": "Excuse me? That's Pig … I'm Goose." Despite Rabbit's best efforts to rein in Goose's temper, Goose rejects the premise of the game, going so far as to write condescending lists of qualities geese have that the animals don't: "Ever see a goose with buck teeth?" Goose is finally chosen as the goose in-game, only to have a handful of ducks ask to join in, and the cycle repeats. Though the joke drags on a little long, the story's silliness is entertaining, and kids will giggle at (and maybe recognize) the stubbornness and bad sportsmanship of Goose the spoiler. Nastanlieva's watercolor and colored pencil drawings are friendly anthropomorphized takes that give the animals a panoply of expressive gestures; there's an effective fable-like flavor to both art and text. Cute squirrels in bandanas provide snarky commentary on the unfolding drama from page corners, which may seal the deal for some viewers.