A laggard gosling is encouraged to leave its shell and join its family. This perfectly executed tale of a slowpoke begins with a title- page image of four goslings surrounding an egg. On the next page, there's a striking image:, a close-up of the mother Canada goose's head, poking at the last unbroken egg in the nest. "Hello in there! / Are you aware…." The next spread pulls back to show mother, eggs, and other goslings, all clearly impatient. She continues, "how long we've all / been waiting?" Cyrus then moves high overhead to display the whole scene: the nest on the beach, the goose family (gander, too), coots in the water, "nosy crows" atop a tree. He goes on to show the nest from a variety of angles as the mother goose continues to urge her nestling to emerge. The rhythmic text, full of repeating sounds, reads aloud beautifully. Knowledgeable readers will recognize other waterside residents: beavers, blue herons, turtles, and a dragonfly. Varying perspectives and the contrast between the pale yellows and tans of the nest and the green of the surroundings make each spread a surprise. With fine lines and a gentle watercolor wash, these images are comfortably realistic. Readers can be assured that this mother goose will continue to be gentle but firm as her offspring encounters the world—still just a bit behind. For dawdlers everywhere. (Picture book. 2-6)
– Kirkus, STARRED REVIEW, 12/15/16
In rhyming text with sweet, upbeat touches and lovely illustrations, this celebrates nature’s beauty as well as springtime’s renewal. At a pond, a family of geese, including four goslings, are waiting for one last egg to hatch, but it’s taking its time. Meanwhile, other geese rise and soar above. But “where does every flight begin? / A nest. An egg. A chick like you.” When the gosling finally makes its bleary-eyed appearance, the narrator warmly welcomes the new arrival: “Meet the pond. / Greet the sun. / Say hello to everyone!” Cyrus’ intricately detailed, naturalistic illustrations nicely use varying perspectives. The bird’s-eye views of the lively pond, teeming with lush foliage and a wide array of wildlife, are enlivened by close-ups of thegoose, her nest of fluffy goslings, and the warm, remaining egg. The bouncy lines convey support and encouragement, while lyrically capturing a sense of nature’s interconnectedness and vibrancy. This approachable picture book is a natural fit for a springtime read-aloud or for little ones nervous about coming out of their own metaphorical shells. — Shelle Rosenfeld
– Booklist, January 1, 2017
In a nest by a springtime pond, several baby Canada geese hatch from their eggs, but one straggler remains in its shell. In gentle urging verse that seems to channel the voice of the geese’s mother, Cyrus (Billions of Bricks) addresses the gosling inside the unopened egg: “Buds are bursting open./ Sprouts are breaking through./ Eggs are hatching everywhere./ You can do it too!” Cyrus’s artwork is exquisite in its attention to detail, from the mottled texture of the mother goose’s webbed feet to the goslings’ downy feathers and the translucence of broken eggshells; shifts in perspective capture the buzz of activity within this ecosystem from multiple angles. When the last gosling emerges, Cyrus wisely resists an “Aww, isn’t that cute?” moment, instead portraying the newborn as bedraggled, soggy feathered, and rather dazed—a far cry from its adorable, fluffy brethren. Ages 2–8.
– Publishers Weekly, January 2, 2017