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THERE’S A BILLY GOAT IN THE GARDEN by Laurel Dee Gugler

THERE’S A BILLY GOAT IN THE GARDEN

By Laurel Dee Gugler (Author) , Clare Beaton (Illustrator)

Age Range: 3 - 7

Pub Date: March 1st, 2003
ISBN: 1-84148-089-4
Publisher: Barefoot

Using a premise similar to the plot in Jan Brett’s Berlioz the Bear (1991), this much simpler tale uses rhyme and repetition to delight young readers who will revel in the predictable result of the bee’s entrance into the story. Each animal claims he is bigger than the one before it and is sure that he can get the billy goat out of the garden—but of course, the “billy goat will NOT COME OUT.” That simple refrain carries the tale forward as one animal after another sniffs and sorts or clips and clops in an effort to move the billy goat out of the garden. In the end it is not bigger and better but the tiny bee that accomplishes the task as he buzzes all about. Basing her story on a Puerto Rican folktale, Gugler (Facing the Day, not reviewed, etc.) has created a retelling that begs the active participation of young listeners. Repeated readings will engage very young listeners and will invite independent readings by a slightly older child. Beaton’s (Never Say Boo to a Goose, 2002, etc.) clever, felt appliqués are enhanced with beads, buttons, and stitching that seem perfectly suited to a tale that portrays the goat as being in the garden surrounded by clothing on the line and flowers sprouting from the green grass. This rhythm-filled tale is a perfect choice for those libraries serving the youngest of readers. (Picture book. 3-7)