Gemma and Gus are small (and smaller) yellow goslings. Gemma is the big sister. Gus is the little brother. Gemma likes to explore new places, and Gus likes to follow. Then one day, Gus sets out on his own. The subtitle of the book — Big Sister, Little Brother — sets the stage for a fun sibling story.
As I have written again and again, my children and I are huge fans of the Gossie & Friends series by Olivier Dunrea. Gemma & Gus arrived last spring along with Gus. I was especially excited for the introduction of the two new goslings because of the big sister-little brother dynamic. Gemma and Gus are perfect for my preschooler daughter and infant son!
Recommended for children between the ages of 1 and 3, Gemma & Gus tells the tale of the yellow gosling siblings through simple and repetitive language. As a linguist, I appreciate the style of the text because the repetition benefits the language acquisition and development of both my kids. The repetition in the story is also helpful for early readers who are just getting the hang of the written word. And, despite the repetition, I have yet to grow tired of reading any of the Gossie & Friends books aloud. The short tales are fun for kids and grownups alike.
My favorite aspect of Gemma & Gus is, as always, the illustrations. Dunrea uses a simple but whimsical style that is both minimal and full of details. Drawn against a plain white background, the colored portions of the pictures are beautiful and intriguing. I love pouring over each page, finding all the hidden details. Within Gemma & Gus, I especially enjoy the water scenes. Both my children also like looking at the illustrations throughout the book.
Final Verdict: Gemma & Gus by Olivier Dunrea is another success for the Gossie & Friends series. The simple but interesting story full of repetitive language is perfect for toddlers, preschoolers, and emerging readers. I especially adore the whimsical illustrations, which help bring the story to life. My kids and I give Gemma & Gus six enthusiastic thumbs up!
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Cover of Gemma & Gus © 2015 Heather Johnson
Inside Pages of Gemma & Gus © 2015 Heather Johnson