Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Give A Goat

Give A Goat

Jan West Schrock
Illustrator:  Aileen Darragh 
Nonfiction Picture Book
For ages 6 to 8
Tilbury House Publishers, 2013   ISBN: 978-0884483434

It is a rainy day and the children in a fifth grade class are "restless." So their teacher, Mrs. Rowell, reads them a true story about a little Ugandan girl called Beatrice who was too poor to go to school. Then someone gave the little girl's family a goat and their fortunes changed dramatically. With the money that they earned from selling the goat's milk, the family was able to pay for the little girl to go to school.

After they hear this story the school children decide that they want to "give a goat" to someone like the little girl in the story. Their teacher warns them that such a project will take hard work and cooperation, but the children do not back down. This is something that they really want to do.

And so the children begin to do some research. They learn that an organization called Heifer International gives people free livestock to help them get back on their feet. The children learn that they are going to need to raise $120 to send a goat to a family in need. Will they be able to raise so much money on their own?

In this simply written, true, and inspirational story the author shows her readers that children can indeed make a meaningful difference in the lives of others. She shows children that with some hard work and plenty of determination they can be a part of the "giving" and "passing on the gift" process.

In a world where there is altogether too much "gimme" and not enough "giving," this picture book offers children a new way of looking at things.

Readers can visit the Heifer International website to find out how they can be a part of this very worthy cause.