Adams publishes children’s book on Goosey Goose

Nancy Adams of rural Melbourne has just released her second children’s book. It tells the story of Goosey Goose, the creature that first lived on her family farm, then spent the last four years of his life at Riverside Cemetery. The book is available directly from the author and at the cemetery. INSET: Goosey Goose (2000-18) died earlier this year, and is buried near Lake Woodmere at the cemetery.

The Times-Republican first shared the story of Goosey Goose in the July 21, 2015 article “The Golden Goose of Riverside Cemetery.” The popular waterfowl, who died on Jan. 2 at the age of 18, is now the subject of a new children’s book, penned by his former owner, Nancy Adams of rural Melbourne.

The book, entitled “The Golden Goose of Riverside,” chronicles the goose’s journey from birth, his life on Adams’ farm, and eventual arrival to the cemetery to live among other birds of his kind, after the other geese on the farm passed away.

“I knew when we moved him to Riverside in 2014, this would make a good story,” Adams said.

However, the goose’s recent death made her re-work the book’s ending.

“When we first got Goosey Goose’s parents, we thought they were infertile, and then years later they had him and Joe, so the story is about an unexpected gift of new life and family — animal and human,” Adams explained.

Adams was assisted by illustrators Ken Shuey and David Briggs, who helped make her mental imagery come alive on the pages.

While the tale is aimed at kids ages 5-7, Adams thinks people of all ages can appreciate its concepts.

“The book is about the importance of belonging, and the need for living things to be with others. There are themes of loss too,” she said. “There are lots of talking points and lessons within the story.”

She credits the staff at Riverside Cemetery for keeping the goose happy during the remaining years of his life, as well as the general public that enjoyed feeding him and the other waterfowl.

“It was hard to have him go to Riverside, but we thought that was best,” she said.

Marshalltown landmarks and references are peppered throughout the book, as are nods to her first book “Transatlantic Bunny.” Adams, her son Levi Castle, and cemetery General Manager Dorie Tammen and cemetery genealogist Jay Carollo are portrayed in the book. Fun facts about Marshalltown, as well as real photos of Goosey Goose, close the book.

Signed copies of the book are available at Riverside Cemetery and by getting in touch with the author at: Ten percent of the book’s proceeds will go to a fund set up to care for the wildlife at Riverside Cemetery.


Contact Sara Jordan-Heintz at 641-753-6611 or