By: Eve Bunting
Illustrated by: Kevin Zimmer
Publisher: Sleeping Bear Press
Publication Date: January 2016
Reviewed by: Deb Fowler
Review Date: January 17, 2016
Mr. Goat leaned back in his armchair to read his newspaper, the “Goat Times.” Alas, it was Valentine’s Day, time to purchase a gift for a loved one. “I’m off to show my first love,” he explained to his cat, “how much she means to me. Of course Beatrice the cat simply opened one eye and yawned, “Meow.” Off to the market he went, stopping first at Miss Nanny Goat’s “weed stall.” Certainly there must be something special for a first love there. Mr. Goat ordered a lovely bouquet of “crabgrass, pigweeds, and ragweed.” Miss Nanny Goat even threw in a rusty old tin can.
Next up he stopped at Mr. Pygmy-Little Goat’s stall. Certainly there must be something special for a first love there. Rotten eggs it was and he explained that they had “rotted for two years” and were “guaranteed foul and disgusting.” It was just the thing Mr. Goat needed and he took four of them. Into a lovely heart-shaped box (tied with a bow no less!) and off he went to the next stall. Well, perhaps the next stall came to him because it was Miss Skunk and “her perfume cart.” “Do you have a Valentine’s card for her?” she asked. No, but Mr. Goat would think up something extra special for his first love. Do you remember who your first love was?
The tale is quite lively and little ones will find the selection of gifts to be quite silly as Mr. Goat seems to love anything stinky. The full color artwork is quite appealing and fun as Mr. Goat shops for his first love. Of course his special Valentine was none other than his mother. A special verse is a marvelous hint and everyone will guess who will open the door as he sings it. In part Mr. Goat sings, “You have loved me from the start / I love you with all my heart!” This is definitely going to be a crowd-pleaser and would be a perfect tale to read during story or circle time!
Quill says: This is a fun, animated tale about Mr. Goat and his first love that young children will love.