Beatrice's Goat

Beatrice's Goat

4.4 7
by Page McBrier, Lori Lohstoeter
     
 

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More than anything, Beatrice longs to be a schoolgirl. But in her small African village, only children who can afford uniforms and books can go to school. Beatrice knows that with six children to care for, her family is much too poor.
But then Beatrice receives a wonderful gift from some people far away — a goat! Fat and sleek as a ripe mango, Mugisa

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Overview

More than anything, Beatrice longs to be a schoolgirl. But in her small African village, only children who can afford uniforms and books can go to school. Beatrice knows that with six children to care for, her family is much too poor.
But then Beatrice receives a wonderful gift from some people far away — a goat! Fat and sleek as a ripe mango, Mugisa (which means "luck") gives milk that Beatrice can sell. With Mugisa's help, it looks as if Beatrice's dream may come true after all.
Page McBrier and Lori Lohstoeter beautifully recount this true story about how one child, given the right tools, is able to lift her family out of poverty. Thanks to Heifer Project International — a charitable organization that donates livestock to poor communities around the world — other families like Beatrice's will also have a chance to change their lives.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Hillary Rodham Clinton from the afterword Beatrice's Goat is a heartwarming reminder that families, wherever they live, can change their lives for the better.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
An impoverished family begins to flourish after receiving a special gift--of the four-legged variety--in this uplifting picture book set in western Uganda. Beatrice longs to attend school with other village children, but instead she must tend her five younger siblings and help her mother in the fields. Everything starts to change, however, when Beatrice and her family receive a goat, "a lucky gift," says her mother, from a charitable organization. As the months pass, the animal provides the family with sweet milk to enjoy and sell and a pair of kids that will eventually be sold as well. With the goat's bounty, the family soon has enough money to send Beatrice to school. McBrier's tale, inspired by actual events, succeeds in demonstrating the positive ripple effect of the efforts of one organization, but an afterword by Hillary Rodham Clinton sounds like an advertisement for Heifer Project (the donors of the goat). Perhaps the volume's greatest strength is Lohstoeter's (How the Leopard Got His Spots) sunny acrylic paintings, which capture the hues of dusty thatched huts and verdant banana groves of the African landscape. Sweet-faced Beatrice and her mother take center stage, wearing colorful, traditional clothes, and their bond is palpable. Ages 4-8. (Feb.) FYI: Two percent of the publisher's proceeds will be donated to Little Rock, Ark.-based Heifer Project International, a nonprofit group working to end global hunger by providing livestock and training to people in need. Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Publishers Weekly
In what PW called "an uplifting picture book" inspired by actual events, a girl longs to attend school but instead must tend to her younger siblings and help her mother in the fields. Everything starts to change when the family receives a goat. "Sunny acrylic paintings capture the hues of dusty thatched huts and verdant banana groves of the African landscape." Ages 4-8. (July) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature
Beatrice's life in her Ugandan village has been greatly changed by the gift of a fat, healthy goat. Before she arrived, Beatrice and her five younger siblings had little hope of attending school. Beatrice longed to, but the family, who could barely afford food, could never manage to pay for the books and uniform, no matter how hard they worked. But with the goat's milk they sell, not only can Beatrice go to school, but other necessities like clothing and medicine can be bought. There is a sense of quiet strength in Lohstoeter's paintings, a solidity of sculptural forms in the characters. The village and surrounding vegetation are detailed just enough to help us understand the living conditions of the family. The goats provide a lively counterpoint, depicted in sprightly activities. The wonderful changes in this family's life are based on the actual Heifer Project International, which provides the animals along with the training to care for them. A portion of the book's purchase price goes to the Project. 2001, An Anne Schwartz Book/Atheneum Books for Young Readers, $16.00. Ages 4 to 8. Reviewer: Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
School Library Journal
K-Gr 3-Beatrice lives in Uganda, where her family is struggling to survive. During the day, she helps her mother watch the five younger children, tend the chickens and the fields, and grind cassava flour for the market. She is not excited when her mother explains that a charitable organization has given them a goat, which will be Beatrice's responsibility. She calls the "lucky gift" Mugisa, and, indeed, the animal turns out to be a wonderful boon for the family. Other villages seek her milk and are able to pay for it. The sale of the milk allows Beatrice's mother to purchase books and a uniform to send her daughter to school. Mugisa gives birth to two kids, one of which is sold to help pay for a new house. Although the writing style is stilted in places, the authenticity of the story comes through. Lohstoeter's wonderfully engaging acrylic illustrations go a long way toward enlivening the text. The afterword by Hillary Rodham Clinton explains that the story is based on the experiences of a real Ugandan child whose life changed because of the efforts of the humanitarian efforts of The Heifer Project International. Teachers and librarians may want to use this attractive picture book as a jumping-off point for discussion of world cultures.-Barbara Buckley, Rockville Centre Public Library, NY Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780689824609
Publisher:
Atheneum Books for Young Readers
Publication date:
02/01/2001
Edition description:
1 ED
Pages:
40
Sales rank:
355,078
Product dimensions:
10.00(w) x 9.50(h) x 0.40(d)
Age Range:
4 - 8 Years

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