Grandfather and Goose Face-Off

This charming children's book faces a boy with a stark dilemma: Is the goose he bought for his grandparents to be grandma's pet or grandpa's dinner?

It begins with a big boy buying his mother a big goose for her birthday present. She’s always wanted one for a pet. But there is just one problem: to buy the goose he has to borrow money from his gruff grandfather.

Now the grumpy old man was more than happy to loan the money, but only because he misunderstood what the big boy intended. He thought the boy was buying it for his birthday — for his eighty-eighth birthday just a few months away. He thought the boy was buying it so that Grandpa could, for the first time in his long life, have a taste of roasted goose.

So the fun in the story is seeing how this can all conclude with a happy ending! It was a great read-aloud to share with my young daughters. The big goose is an excitable character, and the grandfather likes to bellow, which means that I got to get loud too.

DeJong won both the Hans Christian Anderson and Newberry awards for children’s literature. If mom or dad is reading it, this is good for ages 4 and up.


This review originally appeared at, and is reprinted with permission.

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