Give a Goat by Jan West Schrock, illustrations by by Aileen Darragh
Give a Goat is the true story of a classroom in Maine who were inspired to help others in need after reading Beatrice's Goat, a story about a Ugandan girl whose family received a goat from Heifer International. The children decide to raise money to give their own goat through a class project and inspire others in the school and community to do the same.
Written by Jan West Schrock, the daughter of the founder of Heifer International, Give a Goat is not only a story about giving, but it's a story of how a community can come together to help others who are in much need of it.
I admittedly didn't know what to expect when I heard the premise of the book. I was a bit worried that it would be a heavy sell for Heifer International, and even though I think they do wonderful things, I dislike marketing efforts disguised as children's books. I also am not a fan of books with didactic or overpowering messages.
So, don't get me wrong, it IS a story about how kids raised money to donate to Heifer International and the organization is mentioned by name in the book. After all, it is nonfiction. And the book does have a message: give to others in need.
However, I think Jan Schrock did a good job of telling the story and not getting too heavy handed with mentions of Heifer International. What I liked about it is that it gives ideas for what kids, schools, and communities can do to raise money for ANY organization or individual. I do think that many kids and adults want to help out but either don't have enough money to make an individual donation or don't really know what to do. So, I think many will appreciate Give a Goat for that reason.
I would recommend this book to families and classrooms who want ideas for how to raise money for charity. Told through a heartwarming story and inspirational story, I think it may motivate kids to help out.
- Reading level: Ages 4-8
- Hardcover: 32 pages
- Publisher: Tilbury House Publishers (May 31, 2008)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0884483010
- ISBN-13: 978-0884483014
- Source: Review copy from publisher