Patricia Hillman-Weiss has written and illustrated a warm-hearted picture book for children about a family of Canadian geese and a thoughtful loader operator named Leonard who gains their trust.
We meet the family as the mother goose and her mate are searching for the perfect place to build a new nest. At first, the neighborhood seems perfect: there is an abundance of different kinds of grasses, a clean pond next door, and a very handy hill. It seems far enough away from the road and a nearby a gravel pit to be safe. And so the soon-to-be-new parents settle in happily to build a home.
They quickly learn, though, that they have a big, scary neighbor when Leonard, the friendly loader operator, tries to drive down the road in his truck and comes too close to the nest. Father Goose is furious and honks up a storm. Leonard doesn’t want to scare his new friends, so he backs up his machine and takes the long-way around. The next day he drops off a peace offering gift of apples and fruit. Father Goose soon learns to trust and like the nice man. On the day the nine new goslings hatch, Leonard even takes a gift to the new mother, a bucket of delicious oats and barley.
This is a gentle and loving story about kindness and trust. Its weaknesses include the illustration style and poor copyediting. The pictures are visually repetitive and the artist misses an opportunity to make more of the sweet, fuzzy goslings who we see only once. Also, the text includes typos of various kinds that distract the reader from the book’s loving message about the power of unlikely friendships.