I hope that everybody reading this is familiar with Gossie – so familiar that you think you might have recited it in your sleep last night – and if you are not, then I have two words for you: LIBRARY and NOW.
Do you want my honest opinion? The entire Gossie series, written and illustrated by Olivier Dunrea (who, by the way, is one of my favorite children’s illustrators of all time), is brilliant. And this, the first book in the series, rules. It is simple, creative, lovely, and chock full of vocabulary that every child needs to learn.
Gossie is a story about a gosling who loves her red boots. She wears her red boots everywhere, but one day when she wakes up, they’re gone. After searching high and low, Gossie finds her friend Gertie (who shows up in more prominent roles in some of the other Dunrea books) wearing them. And, in the end, Gossie and Gertie share the red boots. The last page shows each of them walking together with only one boot on.
Which, okay, this is a tangent, but I have this memory from when I was little. My sister and I had a pair of hot pink pumps in our dress-up treasure chest (a.k.a. an old, beat-up Rubbermaid container) and one day we were fighting over who would get to wear them. So my parents said we could each wear one. This book reminds me of that, of walking down the hall with a hot pink pump on one foot, feeling on top of the world.
Anyway, random memories aside, Gossie is a sweet story that teaches the valuable lesson of sharing. It has a simple plot and it uses very straightforward language, both of which are fantastic for young readers. Moreover, the images are expressive, which opens the door for conversations with small children. When I read Gossie with Charlotte, I point out to her the similarities and differences between the images and demonstrate to her what some of the words, such as walking backwards, mean.
The best part of the book (besides being generally adorable) is probably the vocabulary, though. It is hard to find a children’s book that illustrates common vocabulary such as uphill and downhill without being dull. Gossie is, of course, the exception.
Obviously. Otherwise, I wouldn’t be writing about it.
Pros: Young children and early readers all seem to love this book. It’s vibrant, funny, and simple. The words can be easily sounded-out and Gossie is the cutest gosling anybody has ever seen.
Cons: Although the series as a whole appeals to school-age children, my experience has been that individual books do not. The books use fragmented sentences and the plot is too undeveloped for older kids to take much interest.
Borrow or Buy: Buy.
What to do: You can enter this giveaway by leaving a comment below or sending me an e-mail mentioning a childhood memory you have related to sharing. All you need is an e-mail address. The giveaway ends Sunday evening at 9 P.M. Pacific Time and the winners will be announced next Tuesday morning. You can leave one entry every day, for a total of up to six entries.
For extra entries: This is on the honor system, so please be honest. I will award you one extra entry if you vote for me at Top Mommy Blogs by clicking here or at Top Baby Blogs by clicking here. Each day you vote, I will award you two additional entries. I am hoping to maintain or move into a spot in the top ten on both sites so that we can slowly begin to reach more parents about the joys and importance of reading with children.
Odin says: I know that I’ve already done this, um, about five million times. BUT, I think I figured out how to fix the coding on the Friends of Odin page. (Thanks, Rebecca!) So again, if you have an Odin button, let me know and hopefully I will have the page active before the end of the week. I may have lost a few links in the meantime, so if you don’t see your link when the page goes live, just berate me a bit and I’ll take care of it!
*** The winner of last week’s book giveaway (Bedtime for Mommy by Amy Krouse Rosenthal) was Ellie. Congratulations, Ellie!