Grumpy Goat

Overview

Meet one Grumpy Goat.

He's cranky, he's hungry, and he's never had a friend.

He is making a terrible mess at Sunny Acres Farm, and the other animals just stay away.

He knocks over the pigs' trough, kicks down the garden fence, and eats everything in his path.

Until one ...

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Overview

Meet one Grumpy Goat.

He's cranky, he's hungry, and he's never had a friend.

He is making a terrible mess at Sunny Acres Farm, and the other animals just stay away.

He knocks over the pigs' trough, kicks down the garden fence, and eats everything in his path.

Until one special flower stops him in his tracks.

And once Goat opens his eyes, his heart is soon to follow.

See how stopping to smell the flowers really can change everything.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
When shaggy Goat arrives at Sunny Acres farm, his cantankerousness prevents him from enjoying the potential beauty and fun around him. He can’t be bothered to say hello to Cow, play with the pigs, or enjoy a cool breeze. “He just kept his head down, scowled, and ate.” One day, after chomping through the garden and kicking down a fence, Goat nibbles a path to the top of Sunrise Hill where a sunny, golden dandelion stops him in his tracks. As he carefully tends to this newfound wonder, his crankiness eases and he joins a game of tag with the pigs and visits with Cow and the sheep. Luckily, there are enough dandelions around to ensure Goat a cheery, friend-filled summer. Helquist (Bedtime for Bear) delivers a sweet-natured and quite literal stop-and-smell-the-flowers tale that will buoy readers, although it may also have them speculating about Goat’s mood come winter. The acrylic and oil paintings depict an idyllic countryside and stalwart red barn either clouded by Goat’s crabbiness or lit by radiant sun in happier times. Ages 4–8. Agent: Steven Malk, Writers House. (Jan.)
Children's Literature - Beverley Fahey
Sunny Acres farm is a very happy place until the arrival of the grumpy goat. He does not share, will not play with the other animals, kicks down the garden fence, and scowls all the time. That is until the day he discovers a glorious, yellow dandelion on a hill. Lovingly he cares for the flower and as he does, his mood changes. He is quite the happy fellow but that only last until the day the breeze blows away his now fluffy flower. Bereft of his flower, the grumpy goat becomes a sad and lonely goat. Then one fine day the whole hill is covered in his favorite flower and happiness returns to Sunny Acres. Helquist's murky acrylic and oil illustrations feature a mean-spirited goat with a menacing countenance. The yellow hues of the flower and the radiance of the sun are the bright spots in an otherwise dark pastoral setting. The grumpy goat may be reminiscent of Munro Leaf's Ferdinand but not nearly as loveable. There is no explanation for goat's moodiness and no assurance that his disposition will not sour again when the latest crop of dandelions fades. This is a marginal purchase that might help children to see the value in reaching out and making friends. Reviewer: Beverley Fahey
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 City
Kirkus Reviews
An out-of-sorts goat goes back and forth between grumpy and happy in this slight tale with a murky message. Formerly a friendly farm, Sunny Acres changes with the arrival of Goat, who has never had a friend before. "He was hungry. He was grumpy. He didn't want to share." He spurns the other animals' friendly overtures and focuses on scowling and eating. But the lone dandelion in full bloom at the top of Sunrise Hill stops him in his tracks--it "remind[s] him of something." He provides water and keeps the grass around it trimmed neatly. Most notably, when the other animals approach, he doesn't chase them away or scowl, finally making friends. But his melancholy returns when the dandelion turns into a fragile puff that disappears in the breeze. Unable to cheer him up, his farmyard friends keep him company…until those scattered seeds bear fruit, bathing the hillside in yellow-flower sunshine. Helquist's acrylic-and-oil illustrations fail to take advantage of the obvious interplay of emotions, the palette remaining overly dark throughout most of the pages. The cartoonish animals speak volumes with their comical facial expressions, though this adds to the facile treatment of Goat's moodiness. The book fails to address the roots of Goat's bad temper or his turnaround, equating them with dandelions in the wind, and may leave readers feeling grumpy with the lack of a true problem or solution. (Picture book. 4-7)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780061139536
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 1/2/2013
  • Pages: 40
  • Sales rank: 469,684
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Lexile: AD430L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 8.34 (w) x 10.16 (h) x 0.36 (d)

Meet the Author

Brett Helquist's celebrated art has graced books from the charming Roger, The Jolly Pirate, to the alarming New York Times bestselling A Series of Unfortunate Events, to the cozy E. B. White Read-Aloud Award finalist bedtime for bear. He lives with his family in Brooklyn, New York.

Brett Helquist's celebrated art has graced books from the charming Roger, The Jolly Pirate, to the alarming New York Times bestselling A Series of Unfortunate Events, to the cozy E. B. White Read-Aloud Award finalist bedtime for bear. He lives with his family in Brooklyn, New York.

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