Name of Book: A Goose Named Gilligan
Author: Jerry M. Hay
Illustrator: Phyllis Pollema-Cahill
Publisher: Starseed Press;HJ Kramer
Audience: Ages 5 and up
Summary: This is based on the true story of Jerry and a goose, Gilligan. Jerry spends a lot of time on the river in Indiana, often stopping to care for the animals and creatures when he sees them in need. One day Jerry found Gilligan caught in a deadly trap of fishing nets and hooks and swims over to rescue the goose. Gilligan and Jerry become friends, and Gilligan finds a new home on Jerry’s dock on the river, inviting other geese to join him in the safety of Jerry’s dock.
Literary elements at work in the story: The story is set on the Wabash River in Indiana with two main characters, Jerry and a goose named Gilligan. This is a story of one man’s love of creation and his desire to care for all of them, especially helping them escape harm and danger. It is a third person point of view writing of a personal, true story.
How does the perspective on gender/race/culture/economic/ability make a difference to the story? The two main characters are a white man and a goose, with other white people and an array of other animals portrayed throughout the book. One additional human is mentioned when she is asked to name Gilligan after she asks what the goose’s name is. Through the illustrations, it is clear that Jerry’s character has a home on a riverbank with a dock and a canoe, thus hinting at an elevated economic status. Jerry’s character helps the less fortunate animals when they are hurt or in trouble, but otherwise there is no mention about ability.
Scripture: Genesis 1:20-31 (days 5 & 6 of the Creation Story)
Theology: God declared all of God’s creation to be good and gave humans the dominion over all of creation. Having this responsibility, it is our duty as Christians and followers of God to care for, love and nurture all of God’s creation, even when we may feel it is not deserved. As we grow in our life of faith, we are to use our God-given gifts and abilities to feed, nurture and shape the way that we live our lives of faith each and every day. In doing so, we are carrying out the commandment of God in the world to love and care for all of God’s creation.
Faith Talk Questions:
- Has God ever given you someone or something to rescue and/or care for?
- Why do you think that God commanded humans to be in charge of all of God’s creation?
- What can we learn from Jerry about how to care about God’s animals?
- Why do you think that Gilligan trusted Jerry so much?
- Does Jerry think that we should all rescue wild animals and keep them as pets? Why not?
- How can you give God’s love to someone or something?
Review prepared by Union Presbyterian Seminary graduate Katie Todd
A Goose Named Gilligan by Storypath is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.