by Frank Asch ~ pictures by James Marshall
The Dial Press, 1978
I know I always bring up books that scared me when I was little, and James Marshall was one of those illustrators I didn't click with as a child. At the time, he seemed to me to be writing for adults... but now that I'm an adult, I can see the childish humor and appreciate it more. Is it One Fine Day where Martha scares George in the tunnel of love? *SHUTTER...* I've never been a huge fan of Frank Asch either, though since I began this vintage children's obsession, his book Starbaby has found its way on my Holy Grail list. Regardless of water under the bridge, being the mother of a bird lover, I couldn't pass up a goose collaboration by two legendary author/illustrators. And so glad I didn't turn my nose up at this story of a goose family of merchants.
A classic tale of pass the buck, it all starts when...
One day, Mrs. MacGoose got tired of sitting on her egg, so she put Mr. MacGoose in charge and went for a walk. Soon Mr. MacGoose got tired of sitting on the egg, so he put Junior in charge and he went for a walk.
Well, you see where it goes from there. Through the whole family until the blame gets cast on the pour little gosling in the egg. Funny, funny.
The word that most comes to mind when I look at Mr. Marshall's illustrations is deadpan. The funny little eyes of his characters with their blank stares and angry downturns. For drawings that are pretty crude, they carry tremendous expression. My son fell in love with the Miss Nelson series at preschool. Apparently, as a San Antonio native, Marshall's books are required reading in this town. After my son's love grew on his own, I quickly became a convert. In my youth, I think I was too unsophisticated to get it, but obviously, junior is out-classing me. Figures.