CM . . . . Volume XVIII Number 19 . . . . January 20, 2012
Gus the Wrong-Way Goose Heading South is an engaging story about a goose with a difference. The story incorporates information about the development and migration behaviours of Canada Geese, as well as the learning disability typically referred to as dyslexia. For the most part, the educational elements occur naturally within the story, and, therefore, the book does not come across as being overly preachy or didactic.
In particular, I appreciated the emphasis on the need for people with dyslexia to develop compensatory strategies to overcome difficulties or resolve learning situations. This provides a more realistic portrayal of how they can learn, rather than indicating that a “fix” or “cure” is required. The story also takes a strength-based view of difference by showing how Gus was the first gosling to learn to fly, despite the fact that he had difficulty knowing which way to go. The emotional toll that dyslexia can take on students is also demonstrated when Gus expresses how he feels “dumb” or inferior to the other geese. This, again, presents a realistic picture of the issues and can serve as a way to open up a discussion with young children about how they or their classmates might be feeling.
Charlotte Enns teaches in the Faculty of Education at the University of Manitoba, and conducts research related to literacy development of Deaf children.
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Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.