goose the bear

Goose the Bear by Katja Gehrmann

In a Canadian forest, Fox stole an almost-hatched goose egg, planning to eat roast goose very soon.  But he is so proud of himself that he forgets to watch where he’s going and runs right into Bear.  Bear picked up the egg from the ground after Fox ran off and wondered what it is.  Then the gosling hatched and called him “Mama!”  Bear tried to explain that they were not the same type of animal, but the gosling did not understand.  So Bear decided to show the little goose just how different they were.  Bear demonstrated how well bears climb trees, but the gosling could reach the top too.  Bear showed how fast bears can run, but the little goose ran just as quickly.  Finally, Bear jumped in the river and the little goose followed him in.  Then Bear got very worried.  Would the little creature survive the fall into the water?

Gehrmann has created a picture book that stands out from the many books about foxes chasing smaller animals.  Her addition of a bear as a main character adds a clever twist and throughout the book she continues to surprise the reader.  The writing has been done to create a read-aloud that will also keep young readers guessing about what is going to happen next.  With the theme of a tiny creature who can do just what a big bear can do, this book has strong kid appeal.

The premise of the book is quite unique and so is the artwork.  First published in Germany, the book has a European feel, particularly in the art.  It is humorous and bold with changing colors throughout.  Gehrmann’s depiction of the natural world around the characters is particularly rich and layered.

Fresh, vibrant and full of fun surprises, this book is an exceptional take on fox and goose (and bear) stories.  Appropriate for ages 4-6.

Reviewed from library copy.