Monday, April 27, 2020

Review - I Am Goose!

I Am Goose!
by Dorothia Rohner
illustrated by Vanya Nastanlieva
Date: 2020
Publisher: Clarion Books
Reading level: C
Book type: picture book
Pages: 32
Format: e-book
Source: library

A simple, friendly game of Duck, Duck, Goose goes off the rails in giggle-inducing confusion when a silly goose tries to make it all about him.

“Are you kidding me? I am Goose!” A literal-minded goose derails a favorite childhood game—Duck, Duck, Goose—by objecting when Pig, Fox, Dodo, and other players are tapped as “Goose.” Distraction, squabbling, and asking for snacks threaten to end the game completely. Bossy Rabbit restores calm, but Goose doesn’t understand what the problem is until he gets a taste of his own medicine as several ducks arrive and join in, each insisting, “I am Duck!” Engaging animal characters cavort through this spirited, laugh-aloud romp.

(synopsis from Goodreads)

There's really no reason why this shouldn't have worked for me. But it didn't. Maybe it's because the joke is continued for too long, making the book feel a lot longer than 32 pages.

Some animals are playing Duck, Duck, Goose. An actual goose joins the game, and judging by the commentary of the spectator squirrels, the nonsense that follows is a regular occurrence. Goose just doesn't seem to understand that when someone else is tapped on the head and called "goose", it's not a reference to him. (He's so narcissistic that he doesn't even clue in that none of the rest of the animals are ducks, either.) He hijacks the game, bringing it to a complete stop so he can condescendingly explain to all the others that he is a goose and they're not.

The illustrations are the cutest thing about this. The animals are adorable. But the story is annoying, and parts of the text are actually kind of appalling. At one point, Goose tells Dodo that he shouldn't even exist (which is a nasty, dismissive thing to say to your friend). Another one of the characters is a pig, and Goose and Fox both tell him that everything tastes better with bacon. (Run, Pig! These are not your friends!)

Kids might like the quirky misunderstanding, but Goose got on my nerves. I don't like narcissists.

Premise: 2/5
Meter: n/a
Writing: 3/5
Illustrations: 4/5
Originality: 3/5

Enjoyment: 2/5

Overall: 2.67 out of 5

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