A couple of years ago, I interviewed Gardiner illustrator Whitney Burns about her first children’s book, The Bear and the Hare (Gardiner’s Got Talent: Writers And Illustrators Abound, Gardiner Gazette, Summer 2017). Since then, she has collaborated again with friend Sean McKenna, who authored the books, to create the next book in the series called, The Moose and the Goose.
Whitney says, “This is our second book in a series of three. The focus of all our children’s books is building strong relationships and core values such as sharing and friendship. The Bear and the Hare focused on not judging others too quickly, and instead looking deeper to find out who they really are and how to build a friendship with them. Our second book, which we’re so excited about, is The Moose and the Goose! This book explores how sharing is important and how there is always enough to share, even if at first you don’t realize it.”
I had a chance to read through the book and take in the vibrant pictures which Whitney originally painted with acrylics. The illustrations have transferred nicely to the written page: the colors pop, the words rhyme, and everything is arranged in original ways so as to better engage a young reader.
The story is simple yet inspiring, and especially suited for young children. The main plot is not overly complicated and it’s a story we can all relate to. It’s not always easy to share a thing, person, or a place you like. In this book the author focused on a favorite spot coveted by both of the main characters, and the story lies in the compromise.
It’s a good message for children and adults alike. In a time where even as an adult I find the world a little more divided every day, I found the story gave comfort and brought up ideas of likeness and kindness towards others.
My favorite illustration comes at the end of the book and is of the moose and the goose staring out at a lake while the moose wraps his arm (leg?) around the shoulder of the goose. It made me smile. I’m not sure about the logistics of that position in real life, but that doesn’t matter because in a story anything can happen.
My own daughter read it with me and immediately followed by telling me that “it teaches that sharing is good.” She also noted another way to share in her own life, telling me that “at lunch if someone forgot to pack a lunch you could share what you have with that person.” Let’s just say, the message was received. In a world where it seems like we could use a few more good stories, you can be sure this is one of them. You can pick up The Moose and the Goose at local bookstores and at http://silverfoxchildrensbooks.com.