Wheezer the Wire-Loose Goose by Jane Lloyd
I have to admit, it was the title that drew me in.
Wheezer is an orphan and a bully, who is hated by the rest of his flock. Children will identify with Wheezer’s search for self-worth and rejoice with him as he finds it. His courage and ultimate reward have special meaning for stragglers, strugglers, and non-conformists. Wheezer appeals to all ages. His positive philosophy is easily understood and, when practiced, promises life-changing results.
Wheezer the Wire-Loose Goose is a bully who lives by himself. Wheezer’s egg was found on the shore and rolled into the almost full nest of a resentful mother goose. When Wheezer hatched, she pushed him out into the world. She had her own babies to care for. Wheezer is rejected by the flock as a no good foundling. He retaliates by doing outrageous things that hurt and scare them. Seeing the flock react to his torment makes Wheezer feel powerful.
Children will identify with Wheezer’s search for self-worth and rejoice with him as he finds it. His courage and ultimate reward have special meaning for stragglers, strugglers, and non-conformists.
In spite of the passive voicing throughout, I still think this is a good book for children. These kinds of books are about the lesson, communicating, and helping kids to develop healthy relationships, and while an adult might read this book as well, I just don’t think the passive voicing detracts as much as with adult fiction.
Wheezer couldn’t believe it. He said, “You know my parents? Why haven’t you told me who they are?”
Aunt Emily patted the ground with her left wing. “Wheezer, why don’t you settle yourself down here and get comfortable? I want you to listen carefully to what I have to say.” Wheezer paced back and forth in front of Aunt Emily. “Let me know when you’re ready,” she said.
Wheezer couldn’t remember feeling this excited or scared. What would she tell him? Did he want to know? What if his parents were mean and rotten and had hated him? Wheezer’s feathers were shaking as he said, “I’m ready to listen, Aunt Emily.”
Aunt Emily began. “What I’m going to tell you may not be exactly what you expected to hear, but please keep an open mind and try to understand.”
“I’ll try, Aunt Emily.” Aunt Emily continued, “Long before you were hatched here at the pond as an abandoned egg, you had parents who loved you dearly. You were an idea in your parents’ mind and it was a good idea. Your parents never abandoned you because you are a part of them. They have been with you all along. You just haven’t seen them.”
Wheezer was shocked. “Do you mean that my parents are part of the flock and have been here and haven’t told me who they are? What kind of parents would do that? They couldn’t love me and do that. I don’t understand.”
Aunt Emily said, “Now just hold on there a minute. Don’t put words in my mouth. I never said your parents were geese, did I?”
“Do you mean to tell me that I’m not a goose? Then why do I look like a goose? Am I a fish or a seagull or a duck or a turtle? Don’t be silly, Aunt Emily. I may have a wire loose, but I’m not stupid!”
Aunt Emily went on, “Wheezer, dear, what I’m trying to tell you is that you’ve been thinking of your pondparents, the ones that left your egg by the pond for whatever reason, as your parents.”