Sunday, July 12, 2009

Review #9: GOOSED! by Bill Wallace


by Bill Wallace
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing
Pub. Date: May 2004
ISBN-13: 9780689866814
Sales Rank: 27,901
Age Range: 7 to 9
Grades: 2 - 4

Synopsis (from the publisher):
One dog too many. T.P. is Jeff's dog. Jeff is T.P.'s boy. That's the way T.P. likes it. Life is pretty good — until a stinky, thumping, yapping box turns up at the front door. Jeff's friend Mandy has given Jeff a chocolate Lab puppy. They name her Mocha, and everything changes for T.P. Mocha drives him nuts with her endless chattering and questions. On top of all that, everyone keeps telling him to "be nice to the puppy." If only things could go back to the way they were before....

But when Mocha gets "GOOSED," will T.P. have the courage and compassion to come to her rescue?

My Rating: 4/5

My Thoughts:

A few weeks back I saw GOOSED! mentioned on several different blogs and thought it would be a great book for my 8-year-old nephew to read this summer. I ended up reading it to him a few chapters at time in the evenings, but that's okay because we both enjoyed it. The story is told from the point of view of T.P., the perfect buddy dog. He lives contentedly with "his boy" Jeff, Mama, and Papa. T.P. knows that he's a dog and they are people, but he doesn't really have a grasp of the fact that the differences between people and dogs are significant. He thinks they're all pretty much on equal footing. He also gets along great with the family cat, Cord. Then one day, a strange and annoying creature comes for a visit, and T.P. begins to feel displaced.

Author Bill Wallace has a great sense of humor, and my nephew and I chuckled throughout this amusing little story. "J" particularly liked the explanations of how T.P. and Cord got their names. There's a lot of action to keep a youngster interested, and the story moves along at a pretty good clip. The goose itself doesn't make an appearance until almost the end of the book, but before that there's some cantankerous coyotes and a giant rabbit or two for T.P. to contend with.

At almost 9 years old, my nephew certainly didn't need me to read this book to him, but I'm pretty good with voices and dialogue (if I do say so myself!), and Bill Wallace provided me with an excellent script. I think the parallels between T.P.'s experiences and any sibling rivalry between "J" and his sister were completely lost on him, but that's what this story is really all about: T.P. has to learn to adapt to a new member of the family and basically learn how to be a "big brother."

This book is a lot of fun and provides some postive lessions in a wholesome package. Bill Wallace has written dozens of books for kids, and we're certainly looking forward to bringing a few more home to our family!

Click here to READ AN EXCERPT.

About the author:
Bill Wallace grew up in Oklahoma. Along with riding their horses, he and his friends enjoyed campouts and fishing trips. Toasting marshmallows, telling ghost stories to scare one another, and catching fish was always fun.

One of the most memorable trips took place on the far side of Lake Lawtonka, at the base of Mt. Scott. He and his best friend, Gary, spent the day shooting shad with bow and arrows, cutting bank poles, and getting ready to go when their dads got home from work.

Although there was no "monster" in Lake Lawtonka, one night there was a "sneak attack" by a rather large catfish tail. Checking the bank poles was not nearly as fun or "free" after that point, but it was the inspiration for this story.

Bill Wallace has won nineteen children's state awards and been awarded the Arrell Gibson Lifetime Achievement Award for Children's Literature from the Oklahoma Center for the Book.


Wanda said...

My daughter finished this one last week and LOVED it! Funny coincidence: her teacher gave her another Bill Wallace The Flying Flea, Callie, and Me as a grading present.

Zibilee said...

This would be a great book for my friend's seven year old son. He is not yet really comfortable with reading by himself, but will occasionally read aloud with me or his mom by his side. I think he would love this story, as he is crazy about animals, and wants a new puppy very badly!