PETR HORACEK is a Czech illustrator and painter whose previous books include RUN MOUSE, RUN!; BIRD FLY HIGH; A NEW HOUSE FOR MOUSE; STRAWBERRIES ARE RED; and WHEN THE MOON SMILED. About SILLY SUZY GOOSE, he says, "Suzy Goose is a goose like any other, but she is not quite happy about it. This book is about what Suzy Goose learns on her way to 'being different.' " Petr Horacek trained at the Academy of Fine Arts in Prague and then worked as a graphic designer before moving to England, where he lives with his wife and two daughters.
PreS-Gr 1-Suzy Goose looks around and wishes she could be different. The first spread justifies her problem as it is impossible to identify her in the sea of duplicate geese. In those that follow, she visits other animals and samples ways to be different. "If I was a giraffe, I could STRETCH up high." "If I was an ostrich, I could RUN really fast." Pages of "If I was" instead of "If I were" will drive grammar purists crazy, but the scratchy mixed-media illustrations of Suzy trying out each animal's persona and environment make the spreads tactile and pleasurable. When she encounters a lion, she tries a roar ("Rroarrhonk!"), which enrages him. Using some of the moves picked up along the way, the goose hurries back to the safety of the other geese. The close call convinces her that a group has its advantages, but she continues to stand out with her "Rroarrhonk!" Animal movements and sounds, along with the large, bright pictures and interesting compositions, make this an attractive choice to share with young audiences.-Julie Roach, Cambridge Public Library, MA Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Birds of a feather may flock together, but Suzy Goose is sick and tired of it: "I wish I could be different, she thought." Her species envy leads her to a series of improbable, comical encounters with animals big and small: she hangs upside-down with a velvety brown bat, gets a piggyback ride from an ostrich and swims with a seal. Horacek, working in mixed-media and cut-paper collage, sticks to cleanly outlined, relatively simple shapes, but his energized textures bring to mind Eric Carle's work: the ostrich's feathers fan out in a flurry of white and black brushstrokes that evoke an almost palpable downiness, while the seal's mostly submerged body seems to melt into a murky green sea. Suzy finally pushes her luck too far when she tries to rouse a magnificent orange lion with an aspirational "Rroarrhonk!" (Hor cek amusingly zooms in on the lion's perturbed face), but she manages to make it back to her gaggle with her spunk intact. The text may be bare-bones ("If I was an ostrich, I could run really fast"), but the poster-like impact of the pictures, combined with Suzy's featherbrained adventure scheme, should strike a chord with young audiences. Ages 2-5. (Mar.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
The art jumps off the pages, a fitting verb for a clever, clever book, alive in every way. --Booklist (starred review) Animal movements and sounds, along with the large, bright pictures and interesting compositions, make this an attractive choice to share with young audiences. --School Library Journal Attractive mixed-media illustrations, and a well-designed cover, utilize bright colors, textures and size contrasts to energize the spare shapes. --Kirkus Reviews The poster-like impact of the pictures, combined with Suzy's featherbrained adventure scheme, should strike a chord with young audiences. --Publishers Weekly