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Give A Goat Paperback – January 7, 2013

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 1–5—After their teacher reads them Page McBrier's Beatrice's Goat (S & S, 2001), a book about an impoverished Ugandan girl and how her life is improved by a special gift, a fifth-grade class is determined to collaborate on a fundraising project for the charitable organization that donated the animal. Schrock, daughter of the founder of Heifer International, uses an unnamed student as her narrator to describe the kids' efforts to raise money by selling healthy snacks. Readers will quickly identify with the classroom setting and dynamics and appreciate the author's direct approach in outlining the events. The original spark of inspiration, the planning process, the endeavor's success, the mathematics of running a business, and background information on Heifer International are seamlessly integrated into the text. Darragh's pen-and-ink and watercolor illustrations match the upbeat tone of the narrative, support the facts being shared, and provide touches of humor. Though Schrock focuses on raising funds for a specific organization, the story ends with other classes reaching out to the local food pantry and the Red Cross. The message of community service is what children will ultimately remember and hopefully be inspired to emulate: "I think everyone learned that giving—and passing on the gift—feels really good." A first choice.—Maura Bresnahan, High Plain Elementary School, Andover, MA
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Booklist

Page McBrier’s Beatrice’s Goat (2001) introduced the work of Heifer International in a picture-book story about a girl whose family is changed by the gift of a goat. Illustrated in whimsical ink-and-watercolor artwork, this message-driven title by the daughter of the organization’s founder shows kids how to get involved in Heifer’s mission. After a teacher reads Beatrice’s Goat to her fifth-grade class, her students work together to buy a goat for a needy family through Heifer’s program. With an initial loan from their teacher, they prepare and sell healthy snacks, eventually earning more than enough to buy the animal, educating their school about Heifer’s work in the process. The story, which includes interesting details of project management, is a clear advertisement for both Heifer and the rewards of community service. Still, teachers seeking portrayals of kids cooperating to make a difference, both in their communities and beyond, will find this book a welcome resource. Grades 1-3. --Gillian Engberg --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Tilbury House Publishers; Paperback edition (January 7, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0884483436
  • ISBN-13: 978-0884483434
  • Product Dimensions: 9.8 x 8.8 x 0.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #197,830 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
More than any other I know, this book is one our kids need to let sift into their hearts, minds and souls.

If enough kids read it, and are encouraged by their elders to value and respect it, the message in this book could change the world.

Actually, the book has a dual message: (1), Although it feels stupendous to give to those in need, (2), it's also vital to set things up so that your recipients can "pass on the gift," i.e., are able and likely to give a similar gift to someone else (who then gives to someone else, etc., etc.).

As the book's narrator puts it, recipients would be "able to help another family, and then another family, and then another family, in a long chain...."

This is the main message of Heifer International, the award-winning international development organization known and loved by many around the world. Give a Goat author Jan West Schrock is the daughter of the founder of Heifer International - Dan West.

Basically, Give a Goat is the true story of Mrs. Rowell's fifth-grade class in Maine. In order to raise money to buy and give a goat to a family in need, Mrs. Rowell's class decides to sell "healthy snacks" in the teachers lounge.

The book is easy to read but doesn't talk down to kids ("Mrs. Rowell taught us about quality control, inventory, investment, and profit margin..."). It also speaks the language kids speak today ("One gift leads to another and another and another.... Cool!").

The pictures are fun, funny, expressive and the work of an immensely talented artist, Aileen Darragh. Darragh has an unusual knack for drawing children and getting their essence down on paper, visually. Although her children don't look anything like his, they nevertheless remind me of Norman Rockwell's.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By VS Grenier Amazon Customer VINE VOICE on March 3, 2009
Format: Hardcover
The fifth-grade class of Mrs. Rowell was restless one day because it was rainy, so Mrs. Rowell read them a story about a girl named Beatrice in Uganda (a country in Africa) who wanted to go to school but could not because her family did not have the money. However, one day some people from Heifer International came and gave her mother a goat. They were able to sell the extra milk and make enough money for Beatrice to go to school. The kids decided that they wanted to give a goat to another child who couldn't go to school, but Mrs. Rowell reminded them that helping others takes a lot of planning. So they went to the library, found the website for Heifer International, and learned what they needed to do. Then they tried to raise the money for the goat by selling healthy snacks in the teachers' lounge, to students during recess, and at basketball games. Did they make it?
What a great story! And it is based on actual events. There are so many important lessons in this book--helping others, learning to work together, being a good example, making a difference, and even a little bit about quality control, inventory, investment, and
profit margin--that are conveyed in a fun and easy-to-understand way, enhanced by the humorous illustrations of Aileen Darragh. Author Jan West Schrock's father, Dan West, founded Heifers for Relief (now Heifer International) in 1944 as a result of serving as a relief worker during the Spanish Civil War. Teachers and parents can visit the Tilbury House website for a special take home section to use with the book that features activities, discussion points, and further resources. This book gets a high five from me.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Midwest Book Review on September 6, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Give a Goat is a picturebook based on a true-life story of philanthropy sure to appeal to young readers of all ages. Mrs. Roswell's fifth-grade class learns how the gift of a goat helped Beatrice, the young daughter of a family in Uganda. "The goat gave lots of milk - more than enough for the whole family to drink. Beatrice was in charge of selling the extra milk. With all that milk, Beatrice's family got healthier, and they earned enough money to pay for school. Beatrice finally got her wish!" Hearing the story inspires the children to undertake a similar charity - they want to give a goat too! Together they learn about teamwork as they engage in a special charity fundraising math project; by selling healthy snacks, they raise enough money to buy a goat, a flock of chickens, and some ducks to help three families. The delightfully minimalist color illustrations add the perfect touch to this wonderful story with a positive message about the value of philanthropy and helping others.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This little book opens up a new world of giving for children. I am a frequent traveler in Africa, and I think this book explains exactly what can be done on a small scale to help children over there. A GREAT Christmas present!
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