Thursday, January 14, 2010
Honk, Honk, Goose! Written by April Pulley Sayre and illustrated by Huy Voun Lee. Henry Holt, HB Fenn, 2009. $18.95 ages 4 and up
"All the eggs were laid, so she sat on them to warm them. Now and then, she stood and turned the eggs. The male goose floated nearby."
April Pulley Sayre calls this book narrative nonfiction and tells us that it comes from direct experience dealing with Canada geese on her property over many years. She watched the geese carefully and then drafted a story that began at the beginning with the male goose and his protective ways. He starts by chasing anything in his path, but for one female goose. He had chosen her for his mate. They spend their time together doing what all spooning couples do...paddling, eating, dancing, mating and bathing. As the eggs begin to develop the pair make a nest. All the while the male continues chasing any creature that comes near.
The eggs are laid and the male remains protective. One egg is broken when a raccoon gets hold of it. Six eggs are safe. It takes twenty-eight days and suddenly there are sounds of hatching. All chicks are hearty and healthy. The parents set about teaching them what they need to know to survive and survive they do!
At the end of the book the author offers up an informative and accessible package of further information about Canada geese and encourages young scientists to use bird watching as a way to improve their observation skills and to conduct a scientific study of bird behaviors.