Prather’s Pick: A funny, interactive book
Teachers and Parents take note: this week’s interactive book is a winner! “The Serious Goose” was written and illustrated by Jimmy Kimmel (Random House, 2019).
The main character of this week’s picture book for children is a no-nonsense, angry-looking goose. It’s the upturned eyebrows and stern-positioning of the beak that give this goose her serious demeanor. Kimmel’s simple but most effective drawings and the bold print make for a fast-paced, hilarious story.
As the story begins, the narrator tells the reader that the story’s goose is serious. There’s nothing silly about her, and she will not smile. She will not smile even if you put a chicken on her head. The accompanying illustration is ridiculous. The chicken looks startled, indeed, to be put in such a position, and the goose does not smile.
The narrator says the goose will not smile, even if you dress her up as a moose. It’s true; she does not smile. Even a pizza ordered from Gooseppe’s Pizzeria, topped with live snails (what a sight), doesn’t make her smile. In fact, the goose sticks out her tongue in disgust.
So the narrator repeats that the goose is serious business. Nobody can make her smile. But now the narrator speaks directly to the reader, insisting that it won’t happen, but the reader can try to make the goose smile. That’s when the interactive part of the book comes in.
Attached to a page of the book is a mirror, and the narrator suggests that the reader look in the mirror and make funny faces or “stick out your tongue or let your ears wiggle” or whatever else the reader can think of, but the goose will never, never smile. Can’t you just imagine children doing whatever they can to make the goose smile? They will have a” ball” with this book.
But then… guess what happens?
Kimmel, host of “Jimmy Kimmel Live on ABC,” says the book is dedicated to two silly geese named Jane and Billy and to nurses and doctors at Children’s Hospital. He’s donating money from the book sales to CHLA and children’s hospitals around the country.
This book is a winner! Published by Random House, the book is a Junior Literary Guild Selection. The hardcover book sells for $18.99.
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