Through with the zoo

Jacob Grant, 1984-

Book - 2017

"Goat lives in a petting zoo--but doesn't like to be touched!"--

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Picture books
New York : Feiwel and Friends 2017.
First edition
Physical Description
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 24 x 27 cm
Main Author
Jacob Grant, 1984- (author)
Review by Booklist Reviews

What price a little solitude? Weary of all the "wild children" with "grabby little hands," Goat leaps the petting zoo fence and sets out in search of a "space just for him." Following unsatisfying stays with a "clingy koala" and other zoo animals, he finds just such a space on a wide, grassy hilltop under a tree—but his satisfaction soon fades as he realizes that his new life is missing something. Concluding that everyone needs an occasional hug, Goat returns to the (evidently loosely supervised) petting zoo, content in the knowledge that he can slip away whenever he needs a bit of elbow room. In the cleanly drawn, graphic-style illustrations, Grant takes his wide-eyed goat from near panic in the clutches of a multicultural horde of eager young visitors, to wistful glances over the zoo's not-so-far-away roofs from a tree branch perch, and finally back to said clutches, but looking more content. An understated suggestion that hideaways and hugs are equally important . . . not just for goats. Copyright 2017 Booklist Reviews.

Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews

An unsatisfied goat chafes at the confines of the petting zoo he calls home. "Every day the small petting zoo was packed with grabby little hands"—an understandably terrible situation for a goat who doesn't "want hugs or rubs or anyone near him." Looking longingly at the "big zoo" nearby, Goat takes the plunge, hoping for privacy and breathing room. Instead, he finds a "clingy koala," "nosy elephant," and monkeys that treat him like a jungle gym. Stumbling upon a lone tree, "Goat had more space than he'd ever dreamed of. But was it too much?" Grant (Cat Knit) sets the initial scenes within thick white borders that heighten Goat's claustrophobia. He leaps into that white space when he makes his escape, and subsequent images fill the spreads to the edge, including after he returns to the petting zoo. Goat's big eyes telegraph his emotions with gentle humor, and the muted colors and gauzy textures of Grant's illustrations underscore a sense of empathy that extends to readers (and parents) caught between growing independence and the recognition that "everyone needs a hug now and then." Ages 2–6. Agent: Steven Chudney, Chudney Agency. (Nov.) Copyright 2017 Publishers Weekly.

Review by School Library Journal Reviews

PreS-Gr 1—Goat lives in a petting zoo, and is fed up with all the "grabby little hands" hugging and rubbing him. When he notices the animals in the big zoo, he heads there to find a space "just for him." But the big zoo has its own set of challenges. The koala is clingy. The penguins like to cluster and the monkeys groom him like one of their own. Running away, Goat finds a lone tree to climb—respite, finally! But being alone can be lonely too, and Goat returns to the petting zoo; "everyone needs a hug now and then." The predictable story is improved by its simple sentences and well-matched illustrations. Grant's warm-toned, digitally colored crayon-and-charcoal illustrations add depth and context to the story arc. All the drawings are framed in white space while Goat is in the petting zoo—he's boxed in. When he makes a break for it, he leaps out of the frame and into full-page spreads with white backgrounds representing the big zoo. When even that is too much togetherness, he explores farther afield and the background darkens; he is left in pages of full color. Back home at the petting zoo the tones lighten again. But Goat is the star of this visual show. Like Mo Willems's Pigeon, his whole internal process shows in his eyes. Everyone can relate to the need to grow, and the appreciation for familiarity. VERDICT A lovely storytime selection for larger collections.—Lisa Lehmuller, Paul Cuffee Maritime Charter School, Providence Copyright 2017 School Library Journal.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

"Goat lives in a petting zoo--but doesn't like to be touched!"--

Review by Publisher Summary 2

Goat, who lives in a petting zoo, hates to be touched, and escapes to find the perfect space to be alone.

Review by Publisher Summary 3

Goat has always dreamed of having his very own space.But Goat lives in a petting zoo, surrounded by hugs and rubs and grabby little hands.Determined to find his perfect alone space, Goat escapes into the big zoo. But space is not an easy thing to find, in this humorous picture book from Jacob Grant, Through with the Zoo.