Two siblings worry over the fate of a little goat in Roam’s (A Remnant Surprise, 2011) picture-book sequel.
Walter and Gretchen, who live on a farm and starred in Roam’s previous book, are thrilled at the birth of new goat kids. But although the female kid is quick to get to her feet, the male kid stumbles and falls over. The children’s father promises to work with the weak-legged goat, with the aim of preparing him for an eventual job as a trail helper for hiking-business owner Mr. Coleman. But a weak goat has no place in that business, nor does he have any place on Walter and Gretchen’s farm. The children grow attached to the little animal, which they call Tippy Tip, and they pray for him to grow. Their father works with the goat diligently, but when the day comes to sell the goats to Mr. Coleman, Tippy Tip still isn’t strong enough. Meanwhile, the children’s friend Mitchell has worked all summer to earn money to buy his own puppy, but discovers that he’s allergic to dogs. He spends a day with Walter and Gretchen, and as they play at the farm, swinging from a rope swing into hay bales, his worries disappear. When he connects with Tippy Tip, the children find the ideal solution to their problem. Roam ably captures the children’s emotions, and young audiences will share their concern for the fate of the small goat and cheer when Tippy Tip and Mitchell find each other. The text is simple enough for lapsitters or newly independent readers, and Taboada’s illustrations beautifully convey the children’s worry and joy. The inclusion of the Native American guide, Mr. Coleman, helps to diversify the small cast.
A pleasantly illustrated, quiet story that animal lovers will especially enjoy.