Mindi and the Goose No One Else Could See" by Sam McBratney
This is Jana, and I'm here with a special episode of Storynory that Candlewick Press has kindly sponsored. It's a review of a gorgeous and sensitive picture book called "Mindi and the Goose No One Else Could See" by Sam McBratney. This is how the book begins:
Once there was a girl called Mindi, who was afraid of something that no one else could see. This thing that she was afraid of, this thing that no one else could see, was a big goose. It came into her room as quietly as a thought comes into your head, and it stayed there for as long as it wanted to.
When she told her Dad about it, he said, “A What” there’s a goose in your room? He searched high and low for the Big Goose, but he could not find it.
Mindi’s mum made fun of it. She waved a wooden spoon above her head and said, “Any Goose that comes in here will get a smack on his silly bottom.” Mindi thought the Big Goose might be angry about the wooden spoon. Mum and Dad shut the window tight; But windows, walls and doors couldn’t stop the Big Goose. It came and stayed as usual.
“It’s not real,” her mom said.
“Nobody has a goose in their room.”
“I do,” said Mindi.
“Well, you’ll just have to close your eyes and make it not real,” her mother said.
Well if you want to know what happens next to Mindi and the Big Goose, you can find out by reading the book. What I can tell you is that from the delicate and charming illustrations we can see that Mindi’s goose looms large on her bedroom wall. I particularly like the way the curtains blow in through the window in a ghostly sort of way. The scary goose might be a dream, or it might be a shadow - or it might be real.
Mindi’s father decides they need some outside help to send the unwanted goose packing. He sets out with Mindi on a long country walk to visit an old farmer called Austen who lives high up on Shelling Hill.
While they are in Austen’s farmhouse, 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 Blacky-and-Whitey,” Mindi says. “Perfect,” he responds.
Mindi soon befriends Blacky-and-Whitey As you might guess, the goat plays a big role in helping Mindi overcome her goosey fears. And in a nice twist at the end, Austen receives an unexpected reward for his wisdom and generosity.
Mindi and the Goose is a sensitive and charming book for young children. There is a little more text than usual for a picture book, which makes the 40 pages ideal for reading aloud. The illustrations by Linda Ólafsdóttir from Iceland make the book even more loveable.
Sadly, the Irish author Sam McBratney, passed away last year before Mindi and the Goose was published. He wrote over 50 books in his long career and is perhaps best known for “Guess How Much I Love You” which has been published all over the world.
I’m delighted to recommend such a lovely book, and I hope that you have enjoyed this review. I have some good news for our long-suffering listeners! We’ve banished all noisy advertisements into oblivion! It’s safe to enjoy a peaceful Storynory happily ever after.
And if you are looking for a bedtime picture book, do take a look at "Mindi and the Goose No One Else Could See" by Sam McBratney.