Details"In this park that's so grand, in a city still grander, live Lucy the Goose and Alexander the Gander."
So begins this charming tale of Alexander's search for Lucy throughout Wascana Centre, ”Regina, Saskatchewan's beautiful urban park, larger than Central Park in New York or Stanley Park in Vancouver.
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ISBN 9781894431781 Publication Date Jul 1, 2012 Author Freeman, Jean Illustrator Lawton, Val Pages 32 Size 8.00″ x 8.00″
Customer Reviews 2 item(s)
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In Wascana Wild Goose Chase, two Canadian geese take the reader on a tour of Wascana Centre in Regina Saskatchewan. Lucy the Goose and Alexander the Gander hide and seek their way through the park during different events and seasons. Jean Freeman wrote the book to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Wascana Centre Authority.
There are a number of features of this book that will appeal to different readers. The paperback book is a terrific walking guide and has a 'goose eye view of Wascana centre' map. Each of the ten double page pictures is of a different aspect of the park for example: the Royal Saskatchewan museum, the Mackenzie Art Gallery, the Wascana pool, the Science Centre.
The book is also a simple look-and-find book. On each page, Alexander looks for Lucy who is usually doing something funny like trying out the water slide at the pool or trying her wing at art.
Wascana Wild Goose Chase is a rhyming tale that lends itself to being read aloud.
The bushes and trees of Pine Island are turning rust and gold And Lucy's hidden once again because it's getting cold!!! While Alexander paddles his canoe, he hears Wascana's chime. Can we help him hunt for Lucy before it's winter time?
The book is full of postage stamp side bars of assorted trivia from the history of Wascana, Saskatchewan, to information about Tyranno-saurus Rex, to the nesting habits of Canada Geese. These book features can be used inde-pendent of each other or in conjunction with each other.
The illustrations by Val Lawton are done in what she calls 'simple scratchy drawings' in the tradition of Quentin Blake. The illustrations are colourful, informative, and humorous and complement the text.
The book is highly recommended for Saskatchewan school and public libraries as well as any Canadian library that supports Regional Studies of Canada.
Wascana Wild Goose Chase is an entertaining rollick through Wascana Park in Regina, SK, but more background knowledge than is provided in the story is necessary for readers to get full enjoyment and understanding of this lively tale. Wascana Creek meanders from the prairies into Regina and widens to form Wascana Lake in the heart of the city. The park is home to many of Regina's cultural, natural, educational and historical places, such as the Saskatchewan Legislative Building, pools and playgrounds, the Saskatchewan Royal Museum, the McKenzie Art Gallery, and Waterfowl Park which gives refuge to geese, ducks and other birds. Wascana Park is famous for the hundreds of Canada Geese which live in the park, some year-round.
The story is told through a simple rhyming pattern with inset text boxes giving more information about the park. The text is accompanied by bright, original watercolour paintings. The first page of the book gives a 'goose-eye' view map of this park which is located in downtown Regina and which plays host to many annual events, such as Canada Day celebrations and numerous runs and fund-raising events for charities. This park is the local heartbeat of the city, and Wascana Wild Goose Chase attempts to capture this feeling throughout the story.
While exploring Wascana Park through the pages of this book, young readers are invited to interact with the text and the illustrations by searching for Lucy Goose in each picture. Her goose partner, Alexander Gander, literally goes on a wild goose chase as he searches for Lucy all over Wascana Park, hence the title of the book. In many ways, Wascana Wild Goose Chase is a search and find book along the line of Where's Waldo The illustrations are very detailed, each depicting at least one of the buildings or sites for which Wascana Park has become famous, at least in Saskatchewan. The story also goes through the four seasons, showing activities in the park throughout the year. So, while readers are searching for Lucy, they are learning about Wascana Park, one of Canada's largest urban parks.
Although the text of the main storyline is within reach of most readers, the inset text boxes with added information is at a much higher reading level. The text boxes provide additional information about the history of the park or the significance of the buildings or some other tidbit of information that the writer considered interesting. I found the text boxes distracting to the story, and sometimes confusing because they didn't always appear to relate to what was happening on that page. Perhaps this additional information would have been better presented as an addendum at the end of the book.
The story of Alexander's search for Lucy is funny and cute as he looks for her throughout the park. It is the best part of this story. Young readers will enjoy this as well as searching the pictures to find Lucy for themselves. The paintings depict Lucy in many humourous situations as she eludes Alexander. However, the text boxes read like a travel brochure or self-guided walking tour through Wascana Park. They detract from the actual story of Alexander and Lucy. I recommend this book with reservations because of the distraction and confusion of the text boxes, which will hinder young readers and pull them away from the main part of the story. Additionally, to fully understand the story, readers will need more experience or background knowledge of Wascana Park than is provided.
Recommended with reservations.