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Borka – The Adventures of A Goose With No Feathers

This wonderfully engaging book tells the story of a goose called Borka who is born with no feathers. Her mother, Mrs Plumpster, knits Borka a grey woollen jersey to wear which keeps her warm; but try as she might she can’t swim like the other geese because her jersey takes such a long time to dry. When winter comes the other geese all fly off to warmer climes, but having no feathers Borka can’t fly. The other geese are so excited about their new adventure that nobody notices that she isn’t there. Borka sets off alone and eventually finds shelter on board a boat which she thinks is deserted, but during the night it sets sail for London...

The storyline would appeal to Primary schol aged children - probably better suited to younger children (KS1) rather than older children (KS2). The language in this book is rich and descriptive, although some of the vocabulary is unusual, so the teacher may prefer to use this book to read aloud. Children would enjoy listening to the dialogue, and they would relate to young Borka in her journey of discovery.

This story gives provides opportunities to explore children’s own experiences of feeling different to their friends, perhaps of moving to a new place where they need to make new friends. Ultimately the story celebrates difference as something to be valued, making it universal in its appeal.

The beautiful illustrations really help to bring this story to life, and it would be enjoyable for Primary school age children across the age range, whether they are reading it for themsleves, or listening to somebody else read it to them.

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