As the school counselor in my elementary school, it’s my responsibility to work with the students on the issue of bullying, tolerance, friendship, and self-esteem. They are certainly topics that we discuss throughout the entire school year, but I devote about four consecutive lessons per grade level on each theme. I’ve collected materials over the past ten years that I’ve been working there and developed my own curriculum to use; however, each year I try to find new resources that will be interesting and exciting to the kids to help support our discussions and activities.
I was given the opportunity to review “Flightless Goose” this past week. "Flightless Goose" was written by Eric D. Goodman and was illustrated by his wife, Nataliya Goodman. Flightless Goose is about a goose named Gilbert. Gilbert was just like all the other geese - happy and loved playing with his friends. However, one day, Gilbert is unexpectedly struck by a car and sadly, is no longer able to fly. Over time, the other geese began to pick on Gilbert and make fun of the fact that he was no longer able to fly. Gilbert finds friendship in a little boy named Johnny who is wheelchair bound. Without revealing the entire story, Gilbert finds himself racing to save his friends from strangers. At the end of the story, Gilbert's peers recognize that although he can't fly, he certainly has strengths.
As I opened the package, I immediately thought, "What a beautiful book!" The Writer's Lair Books sent me not only this wonderful, hardcover book, but they also sent me an audio CD to go with it! I used this book to support my lessons in grades one and two. I also read the book to my daughter, who is almost seven, of course. My students loved Gilbert. Canada geese are so prominent in New Hampshire, so they really felt a connection to him. I wanted to see if the kids' opinions of the book were different based on whether I read the book or played the audio CD. Either way, the students loved the story. While I read the story, the students were able to ask questions, make comments, and we were able have a discussion. While I played the audio CD, I simply asked students to hold their questions until the end. It was a wonderful story that really brought home the message of tolerance and friendship. This lesson was a huge success!
I also read the book to my daughter, who will be turning seven shortly. Not surprisingly, she loved "Flightless Goose" as well. We then visited http://www.flightlessgoose.com/ and she was able to print out a few pictures of scenes from the book to color, which completely made her day.
I highly recommend this book! It shares such an important message!
"Flightless Goose" can be purchased for $15.95 at http://www.flightlessgoose.com/. You will also receive a FREE audio CD when you purchase the book on the parent's page on the website!