Duck & Goose: Goose Needs a Hug, written and illustrated by Tad Hills

a flock of hugs

Apologies for the missed week everyone!  We had a run of sleepless nights, thanks to Mysterious Toddler Anxiety, leading to many things falling behind, including blog posts.


When this blog was started (by Vicky) the emphasis was mostly on Books That We Re-read.  I don’t mean to say that we didn’t have other aspirations (we do) or that we don’t continue to read new books (we do).  It’s just that we had such strong feelings about those books that shaped Our Youth (or Childhood), that we wanted (like everyone else on the interwebs) to blablablablab about it.  Because you care (I know you do!).

Anyways, at some point we had kids and reviews diverted to Books That We Read.  To Our Kids.  Over And Over Again.

Duck & Goose: Goose Needs a Hug is not one of those books.  I mean, I read it to the Baby.  I read it over again.  But then I returned it to the library, because it wasn’t All That.

The tale has a simple premise.  Goose needs a hug.  His friends try a bunch of different cheer-me-up methods, but the hug is the only one that works.  It’s also the last method that they try.  Why?  Because otherwise, there would be no story.

Don’t get me wrong, the book is just fine.  There are many perfectly good things about this book, for instance:

  • I like the illustrations.  I mean, they aren’t anything to go crazy about, but they look like mixed media (oil and pencils?) and the Baby was crowing and pointing at them, so that’s a score.
  • The birds in the book do funny things.  At least, the Baby thought they were funny.  They sing.  They splash in puddles.  They play hide-and-go-seek.  They stand on their heads.  For a very small person with a limited sense of humour, these things are important.
  • The book is about hugs.  The Baby has spent most of his (rather short, so far) life, not being terribly interested in hugs.  But when we used to read this book (at the tender age of about 15 months), he would lean on me to “hug” me at the end.  Awwwwwww.

Nothing offensive, but nothing remarkable.  Like vanilla ice cream.  Like an Arrowroot cookie.  Like bananas, mint toothpaste, black umbrellas, and white socks.  Like a mediocre date.  If you’re into those kinds of things, then I recommend this book.  Because it is totally, 100% okay.

Rating: B-.  Yawn.

Reading Ages: 1-2.

Fave illustration: “What, Goose?” with the astonished little bird heads all in a row.

Most Annoying Thing:  I don’t like that everyone is always interrupting poor Goose.  He’s trying to TELL YOU that he wants a hug!  Stop the random interrupty suggestions and let him speak, for goodness sake!

Bonus Points:  Did you catch the The Sound of Music reference?  Damn straight.  I’m a fan.


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