Monday, July 11, 2011

Review #102: The Goose Girl

Last month we took recommendations for books that our readers wanted the Z-Kids to review.  In the weeks that followed, we read as many as we could; then the kids ranked their favorites.  After tallying up the votes, we decided to share the books that placed in the top three spots.  Thanks to "Renee" for recommending today's book: The Goose Girl!

Gracie (age 10):  "The Goose Girl" is about a princess who can talk to animals.  And everybody thinks that's weird.  So her mom sends her away to get married to a prince in another country.
Isaac (age 12):  The princess' name is Anidori-Kiladra.  If she doesn't marry the prince, the other country may invade theirs.  So they are going to make a peace treaty between the two kingdoms.
Gracie:  But on the way, Anidori-Kiladra's lady-in-waiting Selia tries to kill her.
Dad:  I think we're safe giving that away.  I wasn't really surprised....
Isaac:  I figured it out.
Gracie:  You could tell she was going to turn bad, because they kept saying, "You're such a good friend... You're such a good friend..."
Lily (age 8):  The lady-in-waiting Selia looks exactly like the princess, so she took her place.  She wanted to be the princess so she could marry the prince and be over the palace.
Isaac:  And... what's that guys name?  Ungolad?  He's the evil henchman of Selia.  I'm going to draw him because he's cool.  Well... he's not cool.  He's evil.  But how I imagined him looking is cool.
Gracie:  And the book tells you the adventure of Anidori-Kiladra escaping and running through the woods.  And when she gets to the city, she has to hide from Selia and all the guards, so she goes into disguise.
Lily:  And she changes her name.
Isaac:  She has to hide and get a job.
Lily:  She took care of geese.  That's called a Goose Girl.
Isaac:  We mentioned that she can talk to animals.  That's kind of an important part.
Lily:  But there's this other Goose Boy.
Gracie:  He hates her because he's used to being the only Goose Person.  Then when Anidori-Kiladra comes in there and starts talking to the geese, he feels jealous.
Isaac:  She has to prove to the king that she's the real princess.  And at the end they had a big battle.
Gracie:  She also finds out that she can talk to the wind too.  She didn't know that before.  So she talks to the wind.
Isaac:  The end half of the book was really exciting.
Gracie:  This isn't a main part of the book, but I have to say it because it freaks me out.  Selia says, "The penalty for treason is to be put into a barrel of nails and drawn by four white horses through the city!"  Which is FREAKY!  So I had to say that.
Dad:  Do you guys know who wrote this?
Gracie:  No.  Let me guess.  "Princess Academy."
Dad:  Yep, Shannon Hale.  You could tell.  Why, what's similar between "Princess Academy" and "Rapunzel's Revenge" and "Goose Girl"?
Gracie:  They are all about girls in hiding, away from home...
Dad:  Why did you guys like this book so much?
Gracie:  It is exciting.  And romantic.  And people die in it.  And Anidori-Kiladra makes a lot of good friends.  And she has a lot of secrets.
Lily:  This book had the power of love.
Gracie:  It's one of those stories that... you don't know why you like it, but it's one of your favorite books you ever heard.  One of those books that you want to listen to over and over again.
Dad:  Did Anidori-Kiladra grow and change over the course of the book?
Isaac:  Character Arc!
Gracie:  At the beginning, she was trying to be perfect just like her mother.
Lily:  But she was bad at it.
Gracie:  She was trying to prepare for her future.  But nothing prepared her as much as Celia's evil rebellion.
Lily:  At the beginning she was a scaredy cat.  She was puny and picky.  But she grew into a brave person.
Gracie:  At the beginning she was expecting to be waited on and served.  But by the end she just expected to sleep on the floor.
Dad:  What would you guys do if you could talk to the wind?
Gracie:  I could make Cameron's hat blow away.  That would annoy him so much!
Dad:  Why do you want to annoy Cameron?  Hmmmmmmm...
Isaac:  Oooooo...
Gracie:  Giggle giggle giggle
Dad:  I think you just want to look at his flowing locks.
Isaac:  His luscious hair...
Gracie:  giggle
Dad:  How about animals?  Would you guys like to be able to talk to animals?
Gracie:  Oh yeah.
Dad:  What would you say to them?
Gracie:  I would tell them not to poop in our yard.
Dad:  Great.
Lily:  I would say...  "Hi!  How are you doing?"
All:  HA ha hahh ha!
Gracie:  We're all really lame!
Dad:  It's a good thing super animal-powers weren't wasted on you guys.
Isaac:  I would ask them weird question about what animals do and why.
Gracie:  Yeah, questions about the mysteries of science.
Mom:  I would always check to see if they have rabies.
Isaac:  Ha ha ha...  "Hello, little baby raccoon...  Do you have rabies?"
Mom:  Like that possum we saw...  I would love to have asked him why he was walking around out in the middle of the day!
Isaac:  "Ohhhhh...  I've got rabies."
All:  HAH ha ha ha ha!

goose girl, by Lily

Ungolad, by Isaac

showdown in front of the king, by Gracie

Author: Shannon Hale
Published, 2003: Bloomsbury
Like it?  Here it is


Heidi Noel said...

I recently recommended this book to a friend and she hated it. Makes me a bit worried about recommending books to people. So, I am glad your family enjoyed it.

Isaac, Ungolad looks awesome!

Rebecca said...

The Goose Girl is one of my all-time favorites. I love Shannon Hale! If you all like excitement and death and romance and freakiness, you should read the other books in the Books of Bayern series. Enna Burning is next (and just as wonderful!)

Chachic said...

I'm so glad the kids enjoyed The Goose Girl because it's one of my favorite fairy tale retellings. I love Shannon Hale's writing and I hope you get to review more of her books in Bookie Woogie. :)

Renee said...

Thanks so much for picking my suggestion! Yay! I'm so glad you guys liked it! I was actually sure it wouldn't be picked because it's pretty long, so I was really happy and surprised to see it.
I love this book so much because Shannon Hale creates such a big, real-feeling world. That's the main reason. The characters and the language are also wonderful, of course!
Did you know that some children's ballet school adapted this novel as a ballet show? I would love to see that, wouldn't you guys?

Rose said...

I absolutely love that book. Shannon Hale is the master of similes, I swear. By the end of the book you can probably identify all the main characters just by a shard of description!

It also made me feel completely gullible; I did not even anticipate the Selia twist. :-/ I only picked up on it a few pages before it actually happened. Oh well. At least it was a surprise, right?

Emmy Surface said...

I am in process of reading this book and your book review topped it all off. It's a great book, and you guys are great!

Heather Zundel said...

Ah, perfect review you guys! As always, I cling onto your every words. (and I would probably be lame with animal-talking powers too).