I was lucky enough to grow up with a wonderful sheepdog called Balloo. Her mother was a working dog, so Balloo had very strong instincts to take care of baby animals, including me. When I was around two or three, my parents got a Siamese kitten, and they named him T.S. T.S. was not a strong kitten, and soon after he arrived Balloo adopted him. She washed him and he would sleep curled up against her side. Even when T.S. was a large middle aged cat, he would go to Balloo when he was upset or sick, and she would care for him. T.S did not care that Balloo was a dog. As far as he was concerned she was his mother.
Seeing the love between the very large fluffy white dog and the skinny Siamese cat made me realize early on that love and family connections can cross all kinds of boundaries. Today's book is about another pair of animals that create a family, despite the fact that they are nothing alike.
Illustrated by Anke Faust
For ages 5 to 7
NorthSouth, 2010, 978-0-7358-2292-4
Mr. Goose lives on a farm with a collection of other animals, and he enjoys spending time with the chicks, reading them stories or taking them for a swim. The truth is that Mr. Goose would love to have a chick of his own. He would love to have a baby to care for “who would call him Daddy.”
Mr. Goose asks the chickens if one of them would give him one of their eggs, and they make it clear that they are not interested in helping out a poor goose like him. Then Daisy the dog finds a very large egg, and she gives it to Mr. Goose, who faithfully sits on it to keep it warm.
Then one day the eggs cracks and the most peculiar little chick hatches out. Instead of a beak and feathers, this chick has shiny scales and a long tail. It is a rather strange little goose, but Mr. Goose does not care. The baby calls him “Daddy” and Mr. Goose sets about caring for his offspring with love and tender care.
Then one day the rooster tells the little green goose and he is not a goose at all, and that Mr. Goose cannot possibly be his daddy. The poor little green goose is distraught, and he sets off to find his real daddy.
Families come in all shapes and sizes. Sometimes parents and their children look nothing alike, but the love that connects them is a bond that cannot and should not be broken.
In this charming picture book, Adele Sansone shows to great effect how love is what makes a family, not a blood tie, or even a species tie. Anke Faust’s delightful multimedia artwork perfectly compliments the heartwarming story.