THE GOOSE LADY by Barbara Walsh; Maine Authors Publishing, 2021; 30 pages, $15.95; ISBN 978-0-7427811-1-0.


Winthrop resident Barbara Walsh is a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and children’s book author, and her new book, “The Goose Lady,” tells the joyfully true story of Augusta’s real-life Goose Lady, Marjorie Bean Scott (1919-2014), and her cement pal Goosey.

Scott was a widow, living alone in Augusta, when her daughters gave her a cement goose as a yard decoration for her front yard. Scott named the cement figure Goosey and began sewing clothes and costumes, dressing Goosey each day in a different outfit — dresses, coats, hats, a flannel nightgown, and costumes like Superman, Santa, a bumblebee, baseball player, soldier and even Elvis.

Cars, buses and passersby stopped to admire Goosey, taking photos, smiling and waving to Scott every day. School children sent cards, letters and gifts, everyone enjoying Scott’s handiwork and her friend Goosey.

Scott may have lived alone, but she was not lonely. She and Goosey had many friends. Goosey now resides at Augusta’s Farrington Elementary School. This is a happy, tender true story for ages 5-8, as small things can bring great joy.



Fantasy picture-book author and illustrator Astrid Sheckels has a good idea — a children’s book series (for ages 3-7) featuring woodland animals on

HECTOR FOX AND THE GIANT QUEST by Astrid Sheckels; Islandport Press, 2021; 32 pages, $18.95; ISBN 978-1-952143-26-7.

adventures of curiosity, exploration and mystery.

“Hector Fox and the Giant Quest” is the first volume in this new series, with Hector Fox and his four pals — Mo Marten, Charlie Chipmunk, Lucy Skunk and Jeremiah Rabbit — all well-dressed in comfortable homes in friendly Green Wood.

Inspired by a fairy tale story they read, Hector and his friends discuss a rumor they’d heard of a giant living in the Forbidden Marsh. They decide to see if the rumor is true, embarking on a search that will test their imaginations and courage.

They enter the Dark Forest and encounter Rufus Bear who encourages the group. A boating mishap adds spooky suspense, but they find the giant and are very surprised and delighted with their discovery. Intricate color illustrations add detail and whimsy to an excellent tale. The second volume in this series will be “Hector Fox and the Raven’s Revenge,” to be published this year.



This charming children’s book didn’t make it into the December column, but now we can enjoy a delightful Christmas story in the springtime.

“The Finest Christmas Tree” was originally published in 2005 for children ages 3-7, written by the Waldoboro husband and wife writing and illustrating team of John and Ann Hassett. The Hassetts are award-winning authors of 16 children’s books.


THE FINEST CHRISTMAS TREE by John and Ann Hassett; Islandport Press, 2021; 32 pages, $18.95; ISBN 978-1-952143-25-0.

Farmer Tuttle owns a Christmas tree farm, producing fresh, fragrant evergreen trees each Christmas. With the money he earns he always buys his wife a special present. Now, however, people don’t want fresh trees, they want plastic trees. Farmer Tuttle is sad and worried, but a mysterious letter, signed by The Boss, orders a tree for a factory holiday party.

One night while walking in the woods, Farmer Tuttle sees tiny footprints in the snow and comes upon small woodcutters loading a big tree into a red sleigh that flies away into the night sky.  Left behind is a special present for his wife. The lesson — belief and hope will produce good things.

The beautiful color illustrations provide quirky, whimsical details like the kids in the car, the candy canes and the owl in the tree.

Bill Bushnell lives and writes in Harpswell.

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