The members of the Farmer family keep blaming their problems on their goat.
When the goat escapes from his pen, he gets into mischief—but is it he who tramples Mrs. Farmer’s petunias? Did the goat eat Andrew’s homework? Did he really knock over the paint can? Eat all the cupcakes for Archer’s birthday party? And how about the gum on Mr. Farmer’s seat? Mr. Farmer correctly observes that “Goats don’t chew gum.” Andrew retorts: “Escape Goat does.” It takes honest Nicolette to finally get to the truth. She has to shout: “You’re punishing the goat for things he didn’t do.” The other family members don’t want to admit their own foibles, but in a slapstick scene Andrew throws a ball that hits the water pitcher carried by Mrs. Farmer; the water spills onto Uncle Nathan, who’s carrying a basket of muffins; the muffins are hurled at Mr. Farmer who drops a huge salad. In the midst of this great ado, Nicolette sensibly points out the goat grazing nearby and says: “The goat didn’t do anything.” The story itself lacks real substance and the wordplay on “scapegoat” will almost certainly elude young readers, but they will get the visual jokes, made evident in Glasser’s exuberant ink-and-watercolor cartoons. The humans (white-presenting save Archer, who has beige skin), the animals, and the farm itself are delightfully represented.
Humorous, engaging illustrations support a slight but amusing tale. (Picture book. 4-7)