Cover image for The geese march in step
The geese march in step
Dumont, Jean-Francois, 1959- , author, illustrator.
Uniform Title:
Petite oie qui ne voulait pas marcher aupas. English
Publication Information:
Grand Rapids Michigan : Eerdmans Books for Young Readers, 2014.
Physical Description:
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 22 cm
"Zita just can't seem to march to the same beat as the rest of the geese, but before long, she realizes, as do the other barnyard animals, that her own special rhythm is just right"--
General Note:
Originally published in French in 2007 by Flammarion under title: La petite oie qui ne voulait pas marcher au pas.
Reading Level:
Ages 4-8.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR LG 4.5 0.5 166350.
Format :


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Every morning at the farm, all the geese line up in a perfectly straight line and parade down to the pond. Igor, their leader, makes sure that they all march in perfect time. But no matter what shetries, little Zita just can't seem to keep the same beat as everyone else. Finally, Igor makes Zita march to the pond all by herself.

She isn't alone for long, though! Soon all the other animals on the farm join in with the little goose's own special rhythm. With Zita to lead the way, the parade down to the pond is a good deal more joyful.

Great fun to read aloud, this hilarious book has a wonderful message about the importance of creativity, imagination, and individuality.

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

A stodgy goose finds his daily routine disrupted by a youngster marching to her own beat. Every morning, Igor leads the farm's geese to the pond, keeping the flock firmly in check with rigid orders. When young Zita creates an offending extra tap in the marchers' rhythm, Igor bans her from the group. As Zita wanders around the farm lamenting her expulsion, the surrounding animals find themselves drawn into her unintentional but infectious rhythms. Soon the entire barnyard is following her, creating a glorious symphony of noise. Individuality and self-acceptance are strong themes in this celebration of unique talents. Dumont has created a dynamic story that is wonderful for reading out loud; readers of all ages will delight in creating the cacophony of noises interspersed in the narrative. The muted palette mirrors the story arc, brightening almost imperceptibly until it becomes a riot of color and action in the climactic scene. A great choice for children who feel like they don't fit in with their peers.--Hayes, Summer Copyright 2014 Booklist

Publisher's Weekly Review

Zita the goose mopes after Igor, the leader of the goose parade, kicks her out of the lineup. "Why am I not like the other geese? One, two; one, two. They're always so obedient and so focused!" Zita makes a rhythm of her own as she trails around, sniffling, and attracts the attention of a woodpecker, whose typographically accentuated drumming punctuates Zita's steps: "Splash sniff splash knock." The noises made by Zita and the noises added by the other animals are written in parallel, like bars of music, with each new voice stacked on top of the ones already in progress. A rooster chimes in, a donkey and a cow join up, and pretty soon everybody joins Zita's parade down to the pond. While Dumont (The Chickens Build a Wall) paints the barnyard animals for laughs, with oversized schnozzes and tubby bodies, his landscapes show painterly attention to detail, as trees, clouds, and fields are stroked in tawny golds and lilacs. Brave readers-aloud could even attempt to coordinate performances of the symphony of animal noises as written-if they're prepared for the cacophony. Ages 4-8. (Mar.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

School Library Journal Review

K-Gr 2-Zita can't march to the same beat as the other geese, no matter how hard she tries to match their rhythmic strides. Igor, their leader, doesn't appreciate her distinct variation and dismisses her from the group. Although upset, she soon finds the appreciation for her unique style elsewhere and learns that being different doesn't have to mean being devalued. Full-bleed spreads feature cartoonish portrayals of different farm animals. Their expressive faces add some fun to the otherwise straightforward depictions. As a read-aloud, the text doesn't flow smoothly, especially when it is supposed to be emphasizing a rhythm or pattern. For example, "Splash sniff splash knock and sniff splash again knock sniff splash knock" provides very few textual clues to aid in reading that line. Although the lesson of individuality is endearing, this book fails to stand out from the gaggle of other choices.-Megan Egbert, Meridian Library District, ID (c) Copyright 2014. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.