From School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 3-A gorgeously illustrated, simply told, and emotionally complex story about anger and grief. When a friendless, grumpy goat arrives at Sunny Acres, the other animals don't know why he is so ornery and they try to befriend him. However, rebukes come swift and hard. Goat kicks, scowls, and stares at the ground. It is only when he finds a lone dandelion on a hill-painted full page, as majestically as a Van Gogh sunflower-that his anger starts to unravel. Meanwhile, Cow, the sheep, and the pigs are undeterred by his rudeness, demonstrating their power of perseverance and forgiveness, and he begins to accept their invitations. However, one fateful day Goat watches helplessly as his beloved flower blows away. Despondent and in a state of mourning, he is cared for by his friends, each in their own way. Understated writing with superb pacing and luminous and warm oil paintings using a vibrant brushwork style result in a story to ponder and pore over. The simple truths of the world's beauty and friends' loyalty are healing. Sharon Dennis Wyeth's Something Beautiful (Random, 1998), Philip C. Stead's A Sick Day for Amos McGhee (Roaring Brook, 2010), and Arthur Geisert's The Giant Seed (Enchanted Lion, 2012)-also featuring the heroism of the humble dandelion-would all pair stunningly.-Sara Lissa Paulson, The American Sign Language and English Lower School, New York Cityα(c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
When a new goat, unpleasant in the extreme, arrives at the farm, gloom descends on Sunny Acres. Rebuffing any overtures at friendship, the goat just keeps his head down, scowls, and eats. That is, until he comes across a lonely and parched yellow dandelion. Moved to his core by its beauty, he begins to care for it and, in the process, mellows and allows the other animals to get closer to him. When one day a breeze blows the seeds of the weed away like the newborn spiders in Charlotte’s Web, Goat panics. His new friends stay by his side as he mourns, and when the hillside subsequently sprouts a blanket of bright yellow, his joy expands and happiness returns. The story’s wide pages of acrylic and oil paintings are filled with rustic colors and depict charming, distinctly Helquist angular characters, while simple declarative sentences advance the story. The gentle lesson about being open to new experiences and people (or cows), and the contentment it brings, is cheerful indeed. Preschool-Grade 1. --Andrew Medlar