REVIEW: A kids' book worth a gander
A beautiful new children's book explores the rugged beauty of the Irish west coast, and introduces readers to young Barney Goose as he bumps into a host of Irish wildlife.
'Barney Goose - A Wild Atlantic Way Adventure' written and penned by the multi-talented Carol Ann Treacy is a charming tale of an orphan goose being rewarded for having the courage to follow his instincts. The fun begins in West Cork with Lighthouse keeper Tom discovering a goose egg washed up on a beach.
This being suitable for young children (maybe three to six years old), there's no hanging about and within just four pages the beanie wearing Barney is rescued, hatched, reared and off on an epic adventure northwards.
Each county along this well-trodden route, so beloved by tourists and natives alike, gets a two page nod as Barney makes friends with some other feathered and furred characters en route to Donegal. All the while the young reader joins Barney in wondering, what's compelling him to fly onwards?
This is a fun, fast paced read which your child will happily honk along with, and is swift enough that parents aren't worried about long-term commitments at bedtime. While the story rattles along nicely, the illustrations are to be savoured. Carol Ann Treacy's gorgeous artworks showcase some of the lesser spotted stars - puffins, whales, deer - of the various habitats on the western coast. My three-year old boy insists on revisiting a picture where an enormous whale comes to an exhausted Barney's rescue as he begins to drift out to sea. He's mesmerised by it.
The quality of illustrations in this hardback edition comes as no surprise as it is a hallmark of publisher O'Brien Press, who were also behind the visually sumptuous 'Eva and the Perfect Rain' by Tatyana Feeney and 'Where Are You Puffling?' by Erika McGann and Gerry Daly - and again, they share another feature - they all celebrate an aspect of this tiny corner of the planet.
Barney Goose - A Wild Atlantic Way Adventure by Carol Ann Treacy is available to buy online.