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A charming new story from the author of Guess How Much I Love You offers an original—and heartening—take on childhood anxiety.
Once there was a girl called Mindi who was afraid of something that no one else could see. This thing that she was afraid of, this thing that no one else could see, was a big goose. It came into her room as quietly as a thought comes into your head. . . .
When a little girl named Mindi says she is being visited by a big goose—a scary creature that is visible only to her—her devoted dad and mom try everything they can think of to drive it away. But maybe some outside assistance is warranted from their wise friend Austen, a farmer who knows what is needed to help Mindi turn her mind to something new. In a sensitive exploration of childhood fears, Sam McBratney, the author of Guess How Much I Love You, narrates with charm, wit, and a touch of whimsy, while Linda Ólafsdóttir’s delicate illustrations enhance the modern fairy-tale feel in a story that is sure to become a bedtime favorite.
About the Author
Sam McBratney (1943-2020) is the author of the internationally best-selling classic Guess How Much I Love You and its sequel, Will You Be My Friend?, as well as All My Favorites, all illustrated by Anita Jeram. He also wrote Just You and Me and There, There, both illustrated by Ivan Bates, and Mindi and the Goose No One Else Could See, illustrated by Linda Ólafsdóttir,among many other books for children.
Linda Ólafsdóttir is the author-illustrator of Play? She is also the illustrator of In Grandma’s Garden by Brenda West Cockerell as well as a series of retold fairy tales by Diane Namm. Her artwork has appeared on stamps, cereal boxes, and children’s clothing. She lives in Reykjavík, Iceland.
Winsome mixed-media spreads and vignettes by Ólafsdóttir alternate between the white characters’ cozy interiors and farm scenes, while chapter book–like writing by McBratney (Guess How Much I Love You) develops Austen as a character by witnessing the way he attends to Black-and-Whitey’s needs, prefiguring the way he will attend to Mindi’s. McBratney shows what it’s like to listen authentically to children—and to believe them.
—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
Mindi is terrified of the big goose—composed of shadows—that shows up in her bedroom, and though her dad looks for it and her mom threatens it with wooden spoons, the goose remains...Ólafsdóttir’s gentle-hued art combines watercolors and soft pencil outlines that contribute to the fable feel of the tale, while stretching shadows illustrate how a lamp or a curtain rod can transform into a giant goose in Mindi’s bedroom. Late author McBratney (Guess How Much I Love You) strikes an interesting perspective that could be helpful to viewers with fearsome shadows in their own rooms.
—Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
A loving father and a wise neighbor find a way for Mindi’s invisible goose to depart. . . McBratney’s posthumously published tale is filled with a gentle kindness, and the illustrations pick up on that, both treating the child’s fear with respect. Ólafsdóttir’s country scenes are tidy and filled with sunlight, Austen’s many animals look contented, and a young goat bounces across the endpapers. . . Low-key and reassuring.
There’s a sweetness in both the artwork and the concept. . . In text, illustration and design, this spacious and appealing book in itself conveys order and comfort for readers ages 3-7.
—The Wall Street Journal