Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

A Goose Named Gilligan

A Goose Named Gilligan

Phyllis Pollema-Cahill
Illustrator:  Jerry M. Hay 
Picture Book
For ages 4 and up
H J Kramer, 2004   ISBN: 978-1932073096

One day, while he was out in his boat, Jerry the river man saw something splashing in the water. When he went to investigate he discovered a goose which was all tangled up in some fishing lines. The goose was in a terrible state and when Jerry set about getting the bird free the goose was even unhappier. Despite being hissed at, snapped at, soaked, beaten up, and thoroughly muddied Jerry persisted because he know that the bird would die if he left it. Eventually the goose calmed down and Jerry managed to remove all the line that was wrapped around its body. It was as if the goose knew that the human was not trying to hurt it but that he was in fact trying to help.

What followed was the development of a very special relationship between the goose (who was later named Gilligan) and the man who saved him. The two were often seen out and about together and Gilligan was a frequent visitor to Jerry’s house. Jerry could not help getting fond of his avian companion but at the same time he understood that Gillian was still a wild animal and had to live as such. Jerry could not lock him up and treat him as if he were a household pet.

This wonderful story about a man who loves and appreciates wildlife and wild places is refreshing in its unaffected narrative and in the author’s obvious fondness for Gilligan the goose. Animal lovers of all ages will enjoy the story and the clear and light illustrations.