Cover image for Honk, honk, goose! : Canadian geese start a family
Honk, honk, goose! : Canadian geese start a family
1st ed.
Publication Information:
New York : Henry Holt and Company, 2009.
Physical Description:
1 v. (unpaged) : col. ill. ; 21 x 27 cm.
Subject Term:
Added Author:


Material Type
Call Number
Item Available
Book J 598.4178 SAY 1 1
Book J 598.4178 SAY 1 1
Book J 598.4178 SAY 1 1
Book J 598.4178 SAY 0 1
Book E 598.4178 SAY 1 1

On Order



Apair of Canada geese is starting a family. The female builds a nest, lays her eggs, and keeps the chicks warm until they're ready to hatch. Her mate protects their nesting site. Soon they will have six wobbly-legged chicks.

Through the waiting, the hatching, the first stroll, and the first swim, the father goose stands guard over his family, always ready to chase away danger with a loud Honk !

Author Notes

APRIL PULLEY SAYRE is the award-winning author of more than fifty books for young readers. She and her husband live in South Bend, Indiana.

HUY VOUN LEE is the author and illustrator of several books for young readers, including At the Beach ; In the Snow ; and 1, 2, 3, Go! She lives with her husband in New York City.

Reviews 4

School Library Journal Review

K-Gr 2-This book about two Canada geese that meet, mate, and raise their family has all the immediacy of a plot-based picture book and conveys personality without slipping into anthropomorphism. Sayre doesn't sugarcoat the challenges that the geese face as they wait for their young to hatch. The male is fiercely protective of the eggs and scares off many of the predators, yet the raccoon still manages to break one of them. Lee's cut-paper collage illustrations fill the pages with color and movement. More detailed information about Canada geese is appended. Those who like to present themes in their storytimes can pair this book with Cari Best's Goose's Story (Farrar, 2002) or with other books about fathers for a Father's Day celebration.-Farida S. Dowler, formerly at Mercer Island Library, WA Copyright 2009 Reed Business Information.

Horn Book Review

(Preschool, Primary) Spring arrives, and with it the breeding season for Canada geese. Sayre takes young nature enthusiasts through the early stages of the goose reproductive cycle. The text begins with a (discreet) treatment of mating; moves to the laying and protection of eggs, including scaring off other residents of the ecosystem; and ends with the birth and first days of the baby chicks. Sayre's characteristic sound words ("Honk, hee-honk, honk! Hisssssssssssss!") creatively capture the calls familiar to anyone with geese in their neighborhoods. The birds' waddles and flaps are readily recognizable in Lee's movement-filled cut-paper illustrations, in which the browns and whites of the goose family contrast with the cheerful blues and greens of sky, pond, and grass. Additional factual information at the back of the book provides further details on the rest of the goose life cycle. From HORN BOOK, (c) Copyright 2010. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Kirkus Review

From mid-March through the day after the chicks hatch, Sayre follows a mated pair as they start a family. While the female builds a nest, lines it with her feathers and lays and cares for the eggs, the male takes his job of guarding his family very seriously. The many creatures the male chases off give readers an idea of the predators the geese face, and ultimately a raccoon does manage to break an egg despite his vigilance. Short sentences, easy vocabulary and onomatopoeia make this ideal for sharing with the youngest listeners, but there is enough story and information to make it a good choice for ornithologically minded emergent readers as well. Backmatter provides additional information about goose family life, migratory patterns and the distinction between the two types of geese, Canada and Cackling. Lee's cut-papercollage artwork is filled with texture. The geese seem three-dimensional, ready to fly off the pages and honk at the readeras the male does, in one spectacular spread. A short bibliographic essay rounds out this terrific introduction. (Informational picture book. 4-8) Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Booklist Review

*Starred Review* A fun read-aloud grounded by great informational back matter, Sayre's latest is one of the few picture books that give a nod to Father Goose. The book begins with him flapping his wings, calling out his distinctive Honk, hee-honk, honk! and chasing away squirrels, ducks, and all the geese except for one female. Sayre shows their mating rituals and their nest making with appealing concision: Dabble, dip, they paddled in the pond. Pluck, pull, they fed on plants. Once the nest is made, lined with soft feathers from the female goose, the male goose again calls out, Honk, hee-honk, honk! and chases away any danger to their eggs, like muskrats and opossums, although one raccoon does succeed in disturbing the nest and breaking an egg. Lee's cut-paper collage illustrations wonderfully complement the text they're simple yet expressive, and the tangible textures of nest and trees are set off by the expanses of solid-color sky and shoreline. She nicely captures the geese in motion as well as at rest in their nest. On the last spread, the male goose is still not resting, though; eyes staring out at the reader, wings extended out to the length of the two pages, he calls out (and many children will join in): Honk, hee-honk, honk! Hisssssssss! --Nolan, Abby Copyright 2009 Booklist