Naomi's Geese

A reflective novel about the nature of love and the love of nature. Naomi Green, going on 12, is a mature, attractive only child who studies ballet in Manhattan – as do her friend and a boy she may be interested in – and so she’s not pleased to be dragged away when her professor parents buy a summer house upstate in beautiful Claverack.  There, her life intersects with that of a family of Canada geese stranded on a nearby pond, and while the geese (male Ka and female Kee, who’s been injured) raise a family, Ka and Naomi gradually earn each other’s trust.  In alternating chapters, the story follows seasonal movements from the points of view of humans and geese until it should be time for them to meet again.  What action there is takes place toward the end, and most of the tragedy befalls the geese; but Naomi is left with the knowledge that love can be painful and involve sacrifice.  A well-structured book with interesting parallels, a thoughtful and unsentimental look at nature and a strong sense of place.


October 15 issue of Kirkus

Evans' story unfolds in chapters alternately narrated by 11-year-old Naomi Green and by a pair of Canada geese, Ka and Kee. Naomi's initial opinion of her parents' new weekend home in upstate New York is a negative one, but when the April sunlight floods their small valley and lights up the pond, she sees some promise. The arrival of a mated pair of Canada geese increases the beauty of the place. Over the course of the year, Naomi watches the geese and gradually earns their trust. At home in Manhattan, she pursues her ballet lessons and develops a crush on the boy who likes her best friend. The following spring, the Greens discover someone has dumped poisonous chemicals in the pond, and Naomi realizes that as much as she hopes the geese will return, she cannot allow them to stay. Evans does a nice job of telling the story. Naomi is likable and realistically portrayed, and the environmental theme is timely and valuable. 

Chris Sherman


Naomi has spent all of her 12 years in New York City; now her professor parents have bought a weekend house in the country, and she expects to be bored to tears. When she meets the pair of Canada geese who have sought refuge on their backyard pond, she is frightened and angry at their noisy defense, but as seasons change so does she, calmed by the country, fascinated by the nesting birds. Alternating chapters tell the story of the geese in a romanticized style, full of natural details but touched in anthropomorphism. As the girl softens toward the geese, so does Ka, the gander, toward her. Naomi's year, which includes a self-centered best friend, a hint of first romance, and lots of ballet, is a sweet, slow story of growth and change as she learns tolerance and compassion. As Naomi's family, and then Ka, return to the country in the spring, a new element is introduced into the novel. The pond has been used as a dump for toxic chemicals, creating a hazard for the people and pets who live there, a disaster for the wildlife, and a dramatic, and somewhat jarring, climax. Amid talk of lawsuits and real-estate values, Naomi gets to test her maturity and readers get to shed some tears.


School Library Journal

The One Pound Diet - Reader Reviews from Amazon.Com

A Breath of Fresh Air.

October 3, 2005


Anon 2005 


In a market oversaturated with diets that feed the American desire for all the gain without the pain (or in this case, all the loss without the pain), Sanford Evans' The One Pound Diet comes as a breath of fresh air. Here is a recipe that works - eat in moderation, set reasonable goals, exercise. Evans not only maps out for the reader how to lose weight, keep it off, and live in a more healthful manner, he provides the inspiration and motivational tools one needs to set out down that road. The One Pound Diet is a quick read, but it makes a lasting impression. Any veteran of Atkins, the Zone, the South Beach Diet or others who's still looking for the real thing should read this book.


Somebody finally tells it like it is.

October 3, 2005

By Novel Man (NYC)


Today's America seems to be the land of the quick fix. But in terms of successful weight loss, there simply is no such thing. By providing a plan for reaching realistic weight loss goals and then offering a way to stay at one's target weight, Sanford Evans' The One Pound Diet is the anti-diet that works. This book is a must-read for anyone who has ever lost a significant amount of weight, only to see the pounds creep on again. Instead of touting the rigors of starvation or espousing exotic nutritional regimens, The One Pound Diet rewards the reader with a generous helping of common sense, topped with a large dollop of good humor. In dieting, as in life, slow and steady really does win the race. This is a win-win guide if you're looking to lose, and the perfect gift for those friends and family who could use a gentle reminder and a supportive literary personal trainer on the road to better health.


A Little Diet Book That's Big On Common Sense, October 27, 2005

By Tucker's Mom (Ann Arbor, MI)


The One Pound Diet offers a refreshingly simple recipe for losing weight and keeping it off: start slowly, be deliberate, be self-aware, (okay, okay: eat sensibly and get some exercise, too)and lose weight. The premise is so simple it's tempting to say "duh," but that's also its appeal. The author's plan requires no self-deprivation, no only-this-kind-of-food but never-that-kind-of-food meals. There's no counting of points or complicated menu plan. Read this slender red book in one evening, "start late", and you're sure to lose one pound. Then another. And another.