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The Snow Goose; And The Small Miracle (Essential Penguin) Paperback – 22 Feb 2001

4.6 out of 5 stars 121 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 80 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin; New Edition edition (22 Feb. 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140299521
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140299526
  • Product Dimensions: 11.3 x 0.6 x 18.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (121 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 55,076 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

Review

"The Snow Goose is a picture-book nirvana . . . This is the sort of stylish, sophisticated stuff you might want to keep for yourself" (Sally Williams Independent)

"Inspired pastel reimagining of Paul Gallico's World War classic" (Observer)

"A most impressive, newly illustrated edition of this clear and simple, yet powerful, tale of an outsider" (Carousel)

"A story that could have been written for Angela Barrett to illustrate . . . This is Barrett at her consummate best. 5 stars" (Books for Keeps)

"Haunting and lyrical tale of love and loss and courage . . . A classic tale for every generation" (Pregnancy and Parenting) --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Book Description

A new edition of a beautiful, poignant classic with stunning illustrations from acclaimed illustrator Angela Barrett. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I found this book by the sleeve notes from the progressive rock album by Camel. I had always enjoyed the music but never knew the story behind the album.
The book is the story of a man and his relationship with others. He overcomes all the disadvantages of his life to prove that courage and bravery are not the sole territory of the few.
Read this book because it has an emotional impact that is rare in this day and age. If you are an ageing progressive rocker, this book will give real meaning to a seminal work of the era.
I only wish that I had read this work as a teenager and taken to heart the values and emotions that are in this story.
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By Daniel Jolley HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on 27 Oct. 2005
Format: Hardcover
It's funny how the simplest of stories oftentimes have the most meaning. Paul Gallico's The Snow Goose is a beautifully moving story that touches on several of man's deepest emotions. It can be considered a children's story, but I think adults alone can truly appreciate the poignancy and depth of it. It's a tale of loneliness, love, war, and death. It's somewhat depressing yet life-affirming at the same time.
Philip Rhayader is a man of great warmth and affection, but his physical deformities (a hunched back and a clawed hand) make him an outcast in society. So it is that he moves to a remote lighthouse on the Essex coast, takes up painting, and cares for the local wildlife - especially the birds, who become his only real visitors or friends over the course of their annual migrations. One day, a shy little girl named Fritha arrives at his door carrying a wounded bird - her compassion for the creature overcoming her innate fear of the misshapen Rhayader. The bird is in fact a Canadian snow goose that somehow ended up on the eastern side of the Atlantic. Thanks to Philip's ministrations, the goose recovers and becomes a yearly visitor. Fritha often comes to visit the goose, and she and Philip develop a special bond of friendship. Time passes, hurtling toward the beginning of World War II. When Philip hears the call for any and all boats to help rescue the beached men at Dunkirk, he jumps at the chance to finally play an important part in society.
There's much more to the story from that point on, but in the end the snow goose comes to symbolize many things, including love and sacrifice. It is a romantic story, albeit an unconventional one, and your heart cannot help but be touched by the story of a special creature of nature and the profound effect his presence had on two human souls.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a genuine classic which has inspired much creativity among musicians, writers, teachers, artists and others over decades. However, it seems to have been neglected by many others.

I can offer this particular publication my highest recommendation for readers of all age groups. The illustrations are absolutely superb and the book offers a unique style of short story writing which is so moving that simply thinking about it as I type this makes my eyes water.

It can be read and re-read, it will never cease to provide enjoyment - a true classic!
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Format: Paperback
What an incredible book. Beauifuuly written and incredibly moving, I read this book within a matter of hours, and finished with tears streaming down my face. It is one of those incredibly powerful books, which you are actually sad to finish because it was so enjoyable to read. I would definitely recommend to anyone.
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Format: Paperback
I had two customers come into our bookshop asking for this book in the last week or so - a frequent occurrence when something has been recently featured on the radio. The second customer, a sweet little old lady, fell into a tone of deep reverence and told me it was 'lovely, just lovely - I knew I needed to have a copy!' Well, happily for me, I did have a copy, so I searched it out and read it straight away!

The back of my edition says 'The Snow Goose' is 'a beautiful tale of a hunchbacked artist, a girl, a wounded bird and a courageous act at Dunkirk.' It being a short story, there really isn't much I can add to that without ruining it. All I CAN say is that my customer was right - it IS lovely. From the first page it resounded with poetry and bravery, deep sadness and a profound love and respect for the natural world. By the end I was in tears and absolutely certain that this book wouldn't be leaving my shelves any time soon.

The second story, 'The Small Miracle', is a modern fable about a poor orphaned Italian boy, Pepino, and his quest to save his best friend and only remaining family, his beloved donkey Violetta. She is very sick, and his only chance is to get her into the crypt of his local church at Assisi for St. Francis to heal her. Again, it's a very moving story - orphan boy, sick donkey, here come the tears again! - and it's woven through with an appealing atmosphere of innocence and faith.

For me, the first story will be unforgettable; the second story less so, but still far surpassing every other short story I have ever read, at least as far as my memory serves! Very highly recommended.
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Format: Hardcover
This book is a delight. A beautifully written and illustrated short story that will stay with me to be read again many times in years to come. There are very few books that I have fallen in love with but this is at the top of the list. Buy it and read it to your children but do not lend it to anyone as you are unlikely to see it again.
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