Mindi and the Goose No One Else Could See

Publisher: Walker Books

Mindi is afraid of a big goose that comes quietly into her room one day. Despite her parents’ best efforts, they can’t see the goose and can’t get rid of it. Worried, Mindi’s dad goes to ask the advice of Austen, a wise man who lives on the hill.

Austen asks Mindi and her dad up to visit his farm, and when they come, introduced Mindi to one of his goats who she falls in love with and names Black-and-whitey. Some time later, Austen knocks on Mindi’s family’s door and says he will give her Black-and-whitey as a gift, but he needs something in exchange. Will she give him her big goose in return?

This beautiful story about a girl learning to let go of her fears feels like an instant classic. Linda Ólafsdóttir’s pencil and watercolour illustrations are a perfect fit, highlighting the simple magic of early childhood, the warm comfort of family (families will definitely relate to the picture showing Mindi in her parents’ bed) and the scary shadows that can linger at the edges of things, too.

Young children will relate to the fear that arrives without warning, and the experience of it not being understood by others; the fact that it’s Mindi’s love for her new goat that can be exchanged for her fear of the shadow-goose is a lovely moral to the story (and a useful tactic for parents who may be battling separation anxiety, stopping dummies, the arrival of new siblings, moving house or to a new room, etc).

This is a lovely, calm book to read to little ones who may be anxious about something, and a lovely story even if not.

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