Title: The Great Geese Migration
Author: B. V. Clingan
If you’ve ever wondered why geese fly south for the winter (beyond the whole “because they need to stay warm” answer), The Great Geese Migration by B. V. Clingan provides a great answer. The story begins with a group of geese who are tired of freezing their butts off every winter. Although they hang out in their bear friend’s cave, they’re still too cold. The bear tells them that he heard the fish talking about migrating, and explains the whole concept of adaptation to his geese friends. That winter, the geese decide to give migration a try.
Their first journey doesn’t go as well as planned. The geese decide to travel east. If you live on the east coast of the US during the winter, you know why this is such a bad idea. Our poor geese friends get blown around by the strong winds, fly right into a winter storm, and eventually decide to head back to Ol’ Griz’s cave. However, all is not lost, because they did learn that flying in a specific formation and taking turns as leaders helps block some of the wind.
The next season, the geese decide to fly west. Again, that doesn’t work out as well as planned, but again, they discover some new methods of flying and resting that help them formulate the perfect migration plan. The third season, they try flying north, and I’m sure you can imagine how that goes. Finally, they figure out that south is the best way to go. By now, they’ve learned many lessons and are able to migrate successfully.
The Great Geese Migration makes learning about evolution, adaptation, and the reasoning behind the birds’ migratory patterns fun by giving children characters they can relate to. The lessons are presented in an entertaining way through conversations between the geese without compromising the scientific facts behind migration. While the story is written for children, the author doesn’t talk down to them or over-simplify the science. My only complaint about the book is that the text blends in with the pictures on some pages, making it a little difficult to read at times. Otherwise, I think it’s a great way to explain the habits of migratory birds and launch a further discussion of adaptation and evolution with your child.
Author B.V. Clingan has a background in science with a Bachelor’s in biochemistry. He also spent time working in a research lab during a four-year stint in the US Army. You can connect with him on Facebook and Twitter