Scapegoat: The story of a goat named Oat and a chewed-up coat

Overview

In the Choat family, you never have to look hard to find a culprit. Missing TV remote? Blame the goat! Lost coat? Keys in the moat? Broken boat? Blame the goat!

But don't be surprised if the goat doesn't take it lying down. In this hilarious, rhyme-happy picture book, children will love to pore over the funny illustrations, picking up clues that all is not as it seems between Jimmy Choat and the goat, Petunia P. Oat. Because Petunia knows who's...

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Overview

In the Choat family, you never have to look hard to find a culprit. Missing TV remote? Blame the goat! Lost coat? Keys in the moat? Broken boat? Blame the goat!

But don't be surprised if the goat doesn't take it lying down. In this hilarious, rhyme-happy picture book, children will love to pore over the funny illustrations, picking up clues that all is not as it seems between Jimmy Choat and the goat, Petunia P. Oat. Because Petunia knows who's really to blame, and before long the whole family will too!

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Whenever anything suspicious happens in the Choat home, young Jimmy Choat pins it on "the family's spare goat, Patsy Petunia Oat." (It's unclear why the goat is "spare," since she is the only pet.) The goggle-eyed, pink-nosed goat always objects, but none of the Choats speak her language; Jimmy freely accuses the goat of destroying his coat, a television remote, a carry-all tote, and a toy boat. Even when next-door neighbor "Bert Sproat found the goat Patsy Oat with a poorly shaved throat," the boy insists that the "silly old goat must have shaved her own throat." The offended goat, it must be said, eschews the outrageous assonance and plainly calls out Jimmy ("He did it. With your razor"). The blame game rages until a goat translator sets matters aright, calling one of Patsy Oat's claims into question, too. Hale (Rapunzel's Revenge) produces lopsided, rhythmless rhymes, while Slack (My Life as a Chicken) contributes exaggerated digital cartoons that play up the innate ridiculousness of the story, as well as the occasional gross-out moments. But even wordplay enthusiasts will tire of this bloated joke. Ages 4–8. (June)
From the Publisher
"The wordplay here is enjoyable—and there is a neat double comeuppance at the end… Slack’s Photoshop/collage artwork is attractively involving… readers will all be rooting for P. Petunia.."—Kirkus

"The colorful cartoon illustrations and the sheer wackiness of the story will likely appeal to young readers and listeners. Teachers planning lessons on the "oa" sound will definitely want to check this book out." —SLJ

Children's Literature - Janice DeLong
The title of this volume reveals most of the plot: The Choat family has a pet goat named Patsy Petunia Oat who is blamed for all the mayhem committed by the son, Jimmy. The positive elements of the text are those that repeat the "oat" sound with such frequency that young readers or listeners will surely recognize the syllable when next they see it. The font is bold and easy to read, which is also a plus. There is some humor in a slapstick sort of a way. However, the negatives, in this reviewer's opinion, outweigh the positives. Jimmy is the real villain in this story of misrepresentation of truth and the poor goat gets the blame for all the lying child's misdeeds. Stacking up on the negative side, also, is the play to the baser nature of young readers. Such scenes as green muck in Mama's tote where Jimmy has blown his nose, of course denying that he did, and the unfortunate illness of Jimmy which results in his "passing gas from a bad piece of bass that he ate the night past" seem pointless as well as crass. Illustrations are sharp and angular, reflecting tension and struggle, which are appropriate for the text, but do not make for a pleasant visual experience for the target audience. Eventually, Jimmy gets his comeuppance, and the goat...gloats. Reviewer: Janice DeLong
Kirkus Reviews

There is nothing quite like giving a goat grief. That is, after all, why they are called goats. And the young protagonist in Hale's mostly rhymed tale drapes all manner of blame on the horns of the family goat.

"Where is your coat?" Mrs. Choat asks her son, Jimmy when he comes breezing through in his shirtsleeves. The family's goat, Patsy Petunia Oat, answers for him—"He left it in the park"—but since the Choats didn't speak Goat, Jimmy blithely says: "My coat? It was eaten by P. Petunia Oat." He blames everything on her: the lost TV remote, the boogers in the tote, the baby's broken boat, her own shaved throat. That is until the day neighbor Sproat, who happens to be fluent in Goat, provides Mr. and Mrs. Choat with the goat's-eye view, and Jimmy sets about eating a little crow. The wordplay here is enjoyable—"On Friday, Baby Choat's boat would not stay afloat, and Mama asked Jim, 'Did you break Baby's blue boat?' The Choat goat, Patsy P. Oat, raised her head and said, 'He hit it with a rock' "—and there is a neat double comeuppance at the end, though neither approach incandescence. Slack's Photoshop/collage artwork is attractively involving, edging toward Lane Smith but stopping short of his spidery spookiness.

No matter; readers will all be rooting for P. Petunia.(Picture book. 4-8)

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781599904689
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury USA
  • Publication date: 6/21/2011
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 11.00 (w) x 9.80 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

DEAN HALE is the coauthor of the award-winning graphic novels Rapunzel's Revenge and Calamity Jack. This is his picture book debut. He lives in Utah with his wife and coauthor, Shannon, and their children.

www.dreadcrumbs.com

MICHAEL SLACK's illustrations have appeared in books, magazines, advertisements, and on television. His previous picture books include My Life as a Chicken and Pizza, Pigs, and Poetry.

www.slackart.com

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