Monday, March 10, 2008

Other Goose ~ by Barbara Klunder ~ Cady's review

Take a look at the cover of Other Goose, showing a goose wearing high-heeled shoes and glasses. Now, tell me, what age group would you say this is supposed to appeal to? School Library Journal says grade 6 and up, Barnes and Noble says ages 6-9, while says ages 4-8. I consider it right up my alley, and I'm 67.

So I decided to consult an expert, age 7. Cady is the youngest of my seven grandchildren, and she loves to read. One of my fondest memories of her is when she was maybe one-and-a-half years old; she had grabbed about half a dozen picture books under each arm and headed toward the comfy sofa, yelling, "Come on, grandma!" We were in for some serious reading that day. So Cady became my consultant after lunch on Sunday. We sat together on the sofa in her living room, and I pulled out three books I need to review: And Tango Makes Three, Other Goose, and Kersplatypus. Remember that she is seven.

Kersplatypus with its brightly illustrated cover drew her attention as she sounded out the word: "Ker-splat-ee-puss." She read me the first double-page spread, then lost interest. I think she was curious about the other books.

"Other Goose," Cady read. "Barbara Wyn Klunder." And she flipped open the book.

"Wait!" I said. "What about this?"

I pointed to the subtitle, which Cady dutifully read: "Recycled Rhymes for Our Fragile Times." Then she started reading the nursery rhymes. First up were Little Miss Muffet and the spider trying not to choke. Cady looked up at me and said, "I don't get it." I explained that they "tried not to choke" on second-hand smoke. Oh, okay. So we discussed what it was like being around cigarette smoke.

When This Little Piggy couldn't find a parking place and "sold it," Cady explained, "He sold his car and bought a parking place." Hmmm, interesting thought. The idea that Little Bo-Peep left alone is "liable to clone" didn't make any sense to her. And she struggled with "Little Boy Blue/Come blow your horn!/What goes into the ground/Comes out in the corn." She understood it as his horn music going into the ground, but how did it come out in the corn? The Old Woman who lived in a shoe knew what to do with so many kids: start a band. "But why?" Cady wanted to know. The germs in Jack and Jill's water being "a form of urban slaughter" made her screw up her face, and when the dog in Hey, Diddle Diddle sent out his blog, I had to get online to show her my blog. After reading "Baa, baa, black sheep,/Have you any gas?" Cady explained to me it was about gas for cars and planes and "not that other kind of gas!" (Giggle, giggle.)
Jack be nimble
Jack be quick
Jack watch out
For that oil slick!
Cady was interested in the "little ship" below the bird's feet, while I opined that ship may be far away on the horizon and explained why that seagull didn't want oil coating his wings. I guess I'm glad that "Twinkle, twinkle, little starlets/More and more resembling harlots" went right over her head so I didn't have to explain it to her. We read all 22 rhymes, discussing them all the way.

I told Cady about writing book reviews and asked her what she thought of this one. She said, "It's a different kind of rhyming book." I sat down at the computer to capture her words. When she realized I was writing exactly what she said, she dictated carefully, "I have never read a book such ... like that one, so that's why I think it's an unusual book." No, she wanted to try again: "It's a strange book." And that's where she left it.

So who is this book written for? Not 4-8 year olds, not 6-9 year olds, maybe children grades six and up. In my opinion, however, it's for adults. I do have to say, my 7-year-old consultant read the whole book in one sitting, unlike Kersplatypus which seemed to be beneath her. It was time to eat when we finished her review of the book, but she let me know, "Next I want to read And Tango Makes Three."

Other Goose: Recycled Rhymes for Our Fragile Times is a book for environmentalists like me. Cady is getting there; she has the green bag I gave her when I invited all my granddaughters out to lunch one day and gave them green totes. But she'll enjoy this book more when she's a bit older. Since she plans to read this review when she gets home from school today, I want to say, "Thanks, Cady, for reading this book to me and sharing what you think about it. The people who read my blog also thank you."

And now, people, I'll leave you to enjoy an interview with the author-illustrator. I give you Barbara Klunder, speaking for herself:

Other Goose: Recycled Rhymes for Our Fragile Times ~ by Barbara Klunder, 2007, activist rhymes on the environment and culture, 8/10

Before I got this copy of the book, I wrote about it HERE. Since then I HAVE been able to find it for sale here in the States.


Anonymous said...

Thank your granddaughter for checking out this book. Since she has read it, she's let me know that it was pretty strange and probably not a great book to buy for someone her age.

She has saved me a lot of trouble!

Keep up the good work, Cady.
Maggie in Ohio
(maybe you can find Ohio on a map)

gigict said...

Because of Cady's opinion, I want to read this book, and I'll see if any of my grandchildren want to also. There's a 5 year old, Tyler, that might want to. Do you think it's too old for the almost 3 year olds? Or too young for the 8 - 10 year olds? Do you think you have to know the "real" nursery rhymes first before you read this version of them??

I'll see if "The Dinosaur's Paw," a local bookstore owned by a famous children's author, Patricia Reilly Giff, has a copy for sale.

Thanks for letting me know about this book, Cady and Grandma Bonnie!


Susan Tidwell said...

Hi Cady! I agree with you, it is a strange book.

The nursery rhymes are all mixed up, not like the ones we learned as kids. It is a good thing you had Grandma Bonnie there to explain their meanings.

I think this book is probably meant for adults, but you did a great job reading it all the way through and I enjoyed your book review!

Keep reading all kinds of books, even strange ones!

Now tell Grandma Bonnie it is time for milk and cookies!


Anonymous said...

Cady, it sounds like "Other Goose" is a strange book indeed! Sometimes books have words that mean one thing to kids and another thing to grown ups. Maybe the writer does this because they know grown ups will be reading the book with their kids.
I think you should make sure Bonnie keeps this book so that you can re-read it when you're older and see if you agree with me. While you're at it, you might want to do the same with the movie "Shrek".

Jenn in Holland said...

Well, Miss Cady, I for one am very glad for your opinion on this book. I think based on your review, I might skip this one for my children, but certainly, like your Grandma, might like to curl up with this one myself. It certainly sounds interesting and even though I may not understand it all either, it seems like I might learn something new while I read it!
Well done, you.

Wendy said...

Cady has a wonderful future ahead of her in book reviewing. I hope we get to read more reviews by Cady...I think she got it JUST RIGHT! Perhaps children's authors could ask for early reviews from their target would be interesting. It *does* sound like this is a book more geared towards adults...or perhaps it is a book which should be read by children *with* adults (as you did with Cady) and used as a discussion tool about the environment.

Dewey said...

Thank you for this review! The Other Goose sounds like a book I would really like. I hope you'll let us know what you think of And Tango Makes Three, because I really loved that one!

Bonnie Jacobs said...

I'll tell you a secret, Cady. It was Dewey who sent me the book And Tango Makes Three!

Anonymous said...

I love the tandem of 7-year old and Grandmother giving their perspective thoughts on the book from two perceptions. This is great!

Cady, keep at it... you have a great mentor in your Grandmother.

(bj's cousin Carolyn)

Anonymous said...

This book is going on my must have list. I agree it's for everyone but mostly geared towards adults or teens. Your granddaughter and you make a great team. I'm going to remember this when mine are born. I love that the dog has a blog!

Wonderful post!

Ellen D. said...

Cady, thank you for the book review. I think the author had a good idea to change the words of a familiar rhyme to make a new book with different meanings. Sometimes it is funny to change the words of familiar poems or sayings. It makes you pay attention and wonder what is coming next--and sometimes laugh. I think this is what the author was doing here. But it sounds like for someone your age though you knew the rhymes had been changed, it was not very clear what the changes meant. The book would not make much sense if read it by yourself, wouldn't it? I think this a good book to read with an adult. There are some very important things to talk about in this book.

I hope you had a nice day at school and a good visit with your Grandma.

Joy Renee said...

Cady, your pronouncement that this was a 'strange' book makes me very interested in reading it myself. I happen to like strange.

I also happen to like poems ans stories that are spin-offs of familiar poems and stories. Did you know that many of Shakespeare's plays were based on stories already very familiar to his audiences?

When I was 13 and in 7th grade, I wrote a poem that was patterned on the poem "The House That Jack Built" I titled it "The World That Ford Built" and it was about the pollution and traffic jams caused by millions of automobiles.

It sounds to me like this book was written for adults to enjoy reading to younger children and for those younger children to grow up with, to delight in the language and the character's antics at first and then grow to understand the 'message' just like the more familiar Mother Goose and Robert Louis Stevenson verses I grew up with.

I think this sounds like a delightful book and it sure does sound like you had a delightful time reading it with your Grandma Bonnie.

Keep reading and
Love Your Local Library
Joy Renee (Phoenix Oregon)

Marg said...

Thanks for reviewing this book Cady (and Grandma). I'll have to see if my 9 year old son would like to read it. (Although he mostly likes Pokemon, Naruto and Ben 10 just sometimes I can get him to read something different.)

caboose said...

Hello Cady,

Keep up the good work with your reading and sounding out new words.

Carole from Illinois

Anonymous said...

Well, Cady, I think you have hit the nail on the head. It appears to be a silly book written to adults so they can understand the things you already see...Arline

PDB said...

Cady, You have begun well as a book reviewer and I'm sure will have many more wonderful moments with your grandmother. Thank you for sharing your insight on this unusual book with us.

Sweet thoughts and peace always to you.

Anonymous said...

Great job, Cady!!! You & your grandmother make a great team. I would enjoy reading more reviews by you.

Teddy Rose said...

Hi Cady,

Thanks for the wonderful review! I hope to see more reviews from you in the future!

Anonymous said...

Cady, I'm so proud of you! You've always loved books and are a wonderful reader! I think it's great what all these people have to say about your "skills" as a book reviewer. Keep up the good work, my smart little angel!
Love you, Mommy

CJ said...

I don't know about anyone else, but I wouldn't read something like that to children.


Stephanie said...

What a wonderful book!! I think you are right about the age groups though. I'm not so sure my 5 and 7 year olds would get it. Though they are all about trying to save the Earth!!

Way to go Cady!!

Bonnie Jacobs said...

I didn't read the book to Cady; she read it to me. There's a difference, especially since she chose to read the book rather than others I had brought. Something about the book attracted her, and something about it kept her reading. She had already chosen to put down one of the other books and, as I mentioned, she plans to read And Tango Makes Three. Cady is a girl who knows what she wants to read, and this was it.

I agree that it isn't a book to be forced on a child, especially one unable to read it for herself. Obviously, that child isn't Cady. I think we had a great conversation about oil slicks and second-hand smoke and such.

Hey, Cady! Shall we review And Tango Makes Three tomorrow night?

Thanks to all of you who share your thoughts. Cady and I appreciate your feedback.

Anonymous said...

Hi Bonnie and Cady,

Thank you for sending me the link to your book review. It was great fun reading about your afternoon together. Cady, you have a real talent for talking about books. Your grandma is lucky to have you!
Just as you are lucky to have a bookworm for a grandma. They are the best you know!

Love to you both,

Margreet from the Netherlands

Anonymous said...

Hi Bonnie,

I thought Cady's comments were charming, and you are very astute to ask the opinion of a 7 year old. Do you remember when all beepers were black? (I'm assuming you remember beepers.) The chairman of Motorola asked his middle-school-age grandson what he thought about the Motorola beeper. When the boy said it was boring and suggested making them in crayon colors, the chairman took his advice and thus gained a huge market share for a short time. Motorola beepers became known for their bright colors and for giving the consumer a choice.


Ladytink_534 said...

I have those books she's talking about.

Anonymous said...

To Bonnie -- You cannot always rely on publishers or periodicals, even the best ones, to place books in the correct age group because they usually count words per page to make that determination.

To Cady -- I am so proud that you are a "budding" reviewer to add to your reading ability. Thank you for the review.