Saturday, March 27, 2010

Beatrice's Goat - Page McBrier

Illutrated by Lori Lohstoeter
An Anne Schwartz Book, Atheneum, 2001
32 pages
5 stars
Endpapers: Cream, a rooster in the middle of the left side and a slateboard and chalk laying on a banana leaf on the right

Written in coordination with Heifer Project, we hear the true story of Beatrice and her family in Uganda, Africa, and how their lives become incredibly better because of the gift of a Heifer Project goat. One single, pregnant goat. The goat has two kids. The kids can be raised and sold and the mother, named Mugisa, will continue to produce milk, which they can sell.

Beatrice has always longed to go to school, but cannot afford the uniform or the books. However, the proceeds from the milk sales grow and school becomes a reality. So does a new house with a tin roof which won't leak. Wow.

Lori Lohstoeter's illustrations give a feel for the Ugandan countryside, for Beatrice, and for Mugisa. This is a very special book. I plan to read it to my student government kids (not baby goats....children) at our next meeting. They've learned much about Heifer Project during our last two Passport to Peace festivals. And I shall certainly read it to my fourth graders. Now, let's see....the current Heifer Project International Catalog says a goat can be purchased for $120. That's really so little to help create a much better life for an African family.... Check it out.

I've also read about a book called Give a Goat by Jan West Schrock that's about a class of kids that reads Beatrice's Goat and what they do because of it. The library doesn't have it...but I plan to track it down!


Fashionable Earth said...

Dan Zanes supports Heifer International !! :

Sarah @ Tilbury House said...

Thanks so much for your great post! I work for Tilbury House, the independent publisher that released Give a Goat last year. As you may know, it's written by Jan West Schrock, daughter of the founder of Heifer International, and it's a true story about a classroom here in Portland, ME. If you haven't found a copy yet, just let me know and we'll be happy to send you one!

:) Sarah