Mindi and the Goose No One Else Could See
Sam McBratney and Linda Ólafsdóttir
Young Mindi has a night time problem; it appears in her bedroom, ‘quietly as a thought comes into your head,’ in the form of a large shadowy goose, staying as long as it wants. Neither of her parents can see it but do their best to dispel her fears.
“Well, you’ll just have to close your eyes and make it not real,” says her mother.
Concerned, her father goes off to consult a wise farmer, Austen, who lives up on the hill. He suggests that both Mindi and her dad come up to visit his farm, and when they do so, he introduces the girl to his animals, including two geese before taking her inside for a drink. Suddenly, into the kitchen strolls a young goat to which Mindi takes a great liking, naming her Black-and-Whitey. On the way home however, Mindi admits she likes the Shelling Hill geese but still insists that BIG goose isn’t nice.
About a week later, who should come to visit on a wet day but Austen, plus the goat Mindi liked.
Austen says he will give her the goat but must have something in exchange. Could that perhaps be Big Goose …
What a superbly understanding character is farmer Austen who shows such empathy towards Mindi, making her become part of the solution to dispelling her fears.
Sam McBratney’s story – a longer text than many of his other titles – is one that many young children will relate to and the ending is hugely satisfying. Linda Ólafsdóttir’s mixed media illustrations – both large and small are simply gorgeous. How well she captures the warmth of Mindi’s loving family and the rural setting of the book. Read aloud or read solo, this has much to offer young audiences.