William is a little boy who lives with his parents by a lake. One spring day he finds a baby goose, Boomer, who becomes his constant companion. While William waits for the water to warm up so he can learn to swim, Boomer slowly grows into an adult goose. At last the time comes when William and Boomer can go swimming together. The richly detailed, highly realistic illustrations draw the reader into William and Boomer's world, and the overall effect is calm and soothing. Children will take pleasure in William and Boomer's out of the ordinary friendship and the quiet satisfaction William derives from learning to swim. A very promising first picture book. Ages 3-6. (March)
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 1 First, the good things: the large, clear typeface, the imaginatively utilized oblong layout, and the clear, hyper-realist art. The colors shimmer, there are delightful details, and the Katz-like style casts a silky sheen over everything. The bad news is the story: William adopts a gosling (always called a ``baby goose'' here), and over the summer William learns to swim while Boomer grows into a Canada goose. Full stop. Apart from the dubious practice of adopting animals from the wild (the gosling is shown in a nest, and there is no hint of the fate of its parents), the biggest question is, what happens next? Does Boomer fly south for the winter, leaving William desolate? (No other children enter the story, set on a an isolated lake.) Do William and his parents leave the lake in the winter, deserting Boomer? What of the obvious fact, that, while William has grown a little, Boomer has become an adult? The art is satisfying, if slick; the story is anything but. Patricia Dooley, formerly at Drexel University, Phila .