Thursday, November 1, 2012

The Game of the Goose from Miss Jeffrey and 6C

Dear Word Spy,

6C had a few questions about Ursula's wonderful book "The Game of the Goose." We are thoroughly enjoying the book so far and don't even want to stop reading when the bell goes!

We did want to know how you got your inspiration for the book and whether you have actually played the game itself. Also, how did you come up with the unusual names for the children?

We are having some trouble finding the history of the game that isn't confusing or in another language. Where did you find your information about it?

In class we have been drawing maps of the three houses with the one backyard but we can't agree which order they go in. Who lives on either end and who lives in the middle?

As a special treat Miss Jeffery is going to let us watch the movie
Jumanji because it has similar themes to the book. We are going to compare and contrast the book with the movie and the game itself.

Thank you for writing such wonderful books that we all enjoy!

Miss Jeffery and 6C

Dear Miss Jeffrey AND 6C,

You must know how HAPPY I always am to hear from this fabulous class – and now I am even HAPPIER to hear that you are enjoying reading “The Game of the Goose” and doing such interesting things connected with it.

I will try to answer your questions . Hmm. Well I got the idea for the book by reading a tiny little bit about it in the newspaper quite a few years ago. It was in an article about things coming up for auction, including a  very old Italian copy of the Game. I just really liked the name of it “The Game of the Goose” and I thought – wouldn’t that be a great name for a book? I always loved board games. I used to love playing Monopoly when I was a child – I never knew what was going on, but I would pretend I was the little dog having all these adventures while going round and round the Monopoly board!

So that’s how it started. At that stage I didn’t know anything about the real game or how it was played, I just invented my own version of it. That’s why it might be confusing when you look up things like Wikipedia (which is quite a good article) about "The Game of the Goose", because it probably doesn’t sound very much like the Game in Ursula’s book.

I actually based my version of the game on a completely different game called “The Prince’s Quest” which I found in a book of old board games. That’s where things like the “Well of Forgetfulness” and the “Shoes of Swiftness” etc come from.

Also along the bottom of “The Prince’s Quest” is written:
       “The Race is not Always to the Swift, nor the Battle to the Strong.”

(Sounds familiar?)

Now as to those funny names. With Fred I just DON’T know. With Rowley I named him after a street in Camperdown in Sydney, near where I was living. And with Rabbit – well, I just love rabbits!

As for the houses, well I THINK (just think mind you) that I thought of Rowley’s house being in the middle, but maybe that doesn’t make sense, now I think about it. Maybe Fred’s??? What an interesting question. I’m sorry I don’t have a clearer answer.

I haven’s seen “Jumanji” yet although lots of children have told me about it. I will be so interested to hear what you think of the movie and how similar or different it is to “The Game of the Goose.” I think there is also a picture book of “Jumanji” (but I am not 100 per cent sure.)

This answer is already pretty long but I am VERY HAPPY to answer in more detail if you would like me to – just ask away.

Happy reading to you all – and warmest wishes to wonderful Miss Jeffrey and the brilliant 6C.

From the Word Spy
(he-hem, Ursula Dubosarsky!!!)

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