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Goodness Gracious, Gulliver Mulligan    by Susan Chalker Browne & Cynthia Nugent order for
Goodness Gracious, Gulliver Mulligan
by Susan Chalker Browne
Order:  USA  Can
Raincoast, 2003 (2003)
* *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

It's very hard for children to be different from their peers and so many are, in many different ways, one of which is size. Goodness Gracious, Gulliver Mulligan does a very good job of conveying how it feels to be an outsider in school, and how outsiders tend to group together. Poor Gulliver Mulligan 'stood twice as tall as everyone else in his class.' His teacher told him 'How wonderful to be so big!' but whispered to a fellow teacher, 'Poor Gulliver Mulligan. Gulliver Mulligan has no friends.'

He suffers in silence, as such children usually do. 'Gulliver Mulligan never said a word' when his mother asked about friends, when he played alone, or was ridiculed by a bully. But then one morning, shy little Mortimer Goss joins the class, dressed all in yellow. The teacher (who seems just a little unimaginative) tells him 'How wonderful to be so small!' and seats him with Gulliver Mulligan.

You can see what's coming, but it's done nicely as Gulliver rescues Mortimer when he's lost on a school outing, is hailed as a hero, and gains a best friend for life. The illustrations (by Cynthia Nugent) are detailed and colorful, and together with the text, poke gentle fun at adults, which kids will enjoy.

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