Once upon a goat

Dan Richards, 1966-

Book - 2019

When a proper king and queen ask their fairy godmother for a child, they find themselves gifted instead with a baby goat.

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Picture books
New York : Alfred A. Knopf [2019]
First edition
Physical Description
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 29 cm
Main Author
Dan Richards, 1966- (author)
Other Authors
Eric Barclay (photographer)
Review by Booklist Reviews

*Starred Review* A young king and queen long for a child, but they're not too choosy. As the king tells their fairy godmother, "Any kid will do." Still, it's unsettling when a little goat appears on their doorstep. Initially confined to the palace grounds, the little fellow looks so forlorn that night, standing in the rain, that the king and queen bring him indoors, and there he stays, increasingly beloved as he frolics happily each day. Later, the fairy godmother returns, realizes her mistake, and fetches the misplaced baby, who is quite happy with his goat parents. The child initially fears the king and queen but loves the baby goat. Luckily, the palace is large enough to accommodate both kids and all four parents. Is this the family the monarchs had wished for? "No," says the queen, "Better." Beginning with a familiar fairy tale wish, the story concludes in an unexpectedly open-minded way. Richards' simply written, enjoyable text reads aloud well. Working with pencil, watercolor, acrylic, and Adobe Photoshop, Barclay uses composition effectively to frame the story and draw attention to certain elements. A corner is chomped out of the right front endpaper, revealing a picture of the lovable little goat eating the missing piece. A fresh, amusing, kindhearted picture book. Preschool-Grade 2. Copyright 2019 Booklist Reviews.

Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews

Two monarchs who wish to become parents receive an unexpected happily- ever-after in this story by Richards (Penny and Penelope). After the privileged couple requests a "kid" from their fairy godmother, they receive a baby goat. The pair tries to look on the bright side ("We won't need to change its diapers"), but their unruly charge sows chaos, as captured in amusing, not-quite-medieval pencil, watercolor, and acrylic illustrations by Barclay (Sheep Dog and Sheep Sheep). The goat's insatiable appetite—even the book's first page has a bite taken out of it—is the last straw, and after the beast consumes the royal rosebushes, they send it away, until seeing it in a rainstorm causes a change of heart. When the fairy godmother checks in months later, she's bewildered: "You must be joking," she declares, realizing her mistake. Her visit to a goat family reveals a naked cherub among them, but no one seems happy when the fairy proposes a simple switcheroo. Luckily, there's an alternative, and what might have been "be careful what you wish for" turns into a more inclusive takeaway about family and its many forms. Ages 3–7. Author's agent: Ammi-Joan Paquette, Erin Murphy Literary Agency. Illustrator's agent: Lori Nowicki, Painted Words. (Aug.) Copyright 2019 Publishers Weekly.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

When a proper king and queen ask their fairy godmother for a child, they find themselves gifted instead with a baby goat.

Review by Publisher Summary 2

A twisted fairy tale about a king and queen who wish for a child of their own . . . and end up with a baby goat. Perfect for readers of Children Make Terrible Pets and Wolfie the Bunny."A funny and redemptive fairy tale."--The Wall Street JournalOnce upon a time, a very prim and proper king and queen begged their fairy godmother for a child. They'd prefer a boy, with glowing skin, bright eyes, and two roses for lips . . . but any kid will do. When they find themselves gifted with a baby goat (also known as a kid) instead, they can't imagine how he'll fit into their lives. But of course, it isn't long before he's part of the royal family.Readers will delight in this story's hilarity, confusion, and celebration of families that come in every shape and size."A fresh, amusing, kindhearted picture book."--Booklist, Starred review"With its gentle morals of acceptance, not judging by appearances, and being open to outcomes different than expectations, this is a lovely family read-aloud."--Kirkus"The contrast between the royal couple's once-ordered existence and the cheerful mess at book's end is very funny, and the message about acceptance and the expanded definition of family is a bonus."--Horn Book