OF COURSE A GOAT by Ruth Lercher Bornstein


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Lile last year's I'll Draw a Meadow (and the book before that and the book before that), this is an evocative exercise with a heart of mush. Featured are a vaguely Southwest Indian (Mexican-American?) mother and her little boy--whose request for a goat she answers by encouraging him to look for one ""on top of the mountain."" The text itself is a dialogue--he first asking anxious questions (""Will a wolf be there?""), then increasingly gaining assurance, until it is she who is asking, he who is replying. Or, she who is prompting, he who is explaining--how he'll carry the little goat he finds home: ""And I'll come down the mountain/ down the mountain, down the dark mountain. . . and you'll be waiting."" That lone little (wild?) goat just waiting to be found is symptomatic of the arbitrariness of everything here--and so is the barren landscape that, from the mountain top, suddenly looks like the lush Midwest. Altogether, the ethnic intimations are simply a crutch to prop up murmurings from earlier, more integral picture books.

Pub Date: March 1st, 1980
Publisher: Harper & Row