The best books about goats

2 authors have picked their favorite books about goats and why they recommend each book.

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Inspector Flytrap

By Tom Angleberger, Cece Bell (illustrator),

Book cover of Inspector Flytrap

This was the first book my son (a reluctant reader) ever snuck off with to read on his own after bedtime, so it will always have a special place in my heart. Husband and wife Tom Angelberger and Cece Bell make an unstoppable creative duo in this delightful series about a venus flytrap who solves the world’s greatest mysteries. 

The only trouble is he’s a houseplant, so he can’t walk. No worries! Enter Nina, a helpful goat/assistant who pulls him everywhere on a skateboard... except there’s more trouble: she’s a goat, so she keeps eating the clues. It’s as goofy and delightful as it sounds and, best of all, once you’ve finished the first there are two more hilarious books to look forward to. 

Inspector Flytrap

By Tom Angleberger, Cece Bell (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Inspector Flytrap as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

From husband-and-wife team Tom Angleberger, creator of the New York Times bestselling Origami Yoda series, and Cece Bell, author/illustrator of the Newbery Honor graphic novel El Deafo, comes the start to a funny and clever illustrated chapter-book series about a mystery-solving Venus flytrap. With easy-to-read language and illustrations on almost every page, this early-chapter-book series is a must for beginning readers. Inspector Flytrap in the Da Vinci Cold introduces kids to the humorous and wacky world of Inspector Flytrap's Detective Agency, home to the world-renowned solver of BIG DEAL mysteries. The plant detective works tirelessly with his assistant Nina the…

Who am I?

There are so many ways to make friends—and to be friends. As a painfully shy person for most of my life, I’ve learned that words aren’t always necessary, and that shared interests and non-verbal (or differently-verbal) communication can take you a long way. It’s probably why so many of my books focus on unconventional friendships, like that between a boy and a funny-talking fruit bat (in Megabat), a boy and his emotional support duck (in Quack), or even a bee and a flea (in Bee and Flea and the Compost Caper). Not surprisingly, I also love reading books that celebrate unlikely friends. These are just a few of my favorites. 


I wrote...

Megabat

By Anna Humphrey, Kass Reich (illustrator),

Book cover of Megabat

What is my book about?

Daniel Misumi has just moved to a new house. It's big and old and far away from his friends and his life before. And it's haunted . . . or is it? Megabat was just napping on a papaya one day when he was stuffed in a box and shipped halfway across the world. Now he's living in an old house far from home, feeling sorry for himself and accidentally scaring the people who live there.

Daniel realizes it's not a ghost in his new house. It's a bat. And he can talk. And he's actually kind of cute. Megabat realizes that not every human wants to whack him with a broom. This one shares his smooshfruit. Add some buttermelon, juice boxes, a lightsaber, and a common enemy and you've got a new friendship in the making!

The Story of a Goat

By Perumal Murugan, N Kalyan Raman,

Book cover of The Story of a Goat

It seems we don’t have as many opportunities to read fables as we grow up and this is a loss. That is why The Story of a Goat is such a wonderful chance to remember the power of fables and allegories. This book taught me about our human capacities for cross-species compassion and love. The simple writing style and pacing of the story can sort of sneak up on you as you develop sincere feelings for the main character, a small black goat. Additionally, the back story of why Murugan wrote this particular book is fascinating and adds such depth to the reading experience. 

The Story of a Goat

By Perumal Murugan, N Kalyan Raman,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Story of a Goat as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A farmer in India is watching the sun set over his village one quiet evening when a mysterious stranger, a giant man who seems more than human, appears on the horizon. He offers the farmer a black goat kid who is the runt of the litter, surely too frail to survive. The farmer and his wife take care of the young she-goat, whom they name Poonachi, and soon the little goat is bounding with joy and growing at a rate they think miraculous.

But Poonachi's life is not destined to be a rural idyll: dangers lurk around every corner, and…

Who am I?

I’m a sociologist and professor. I’ve written several books about human and animal intersections. From bees to horseshoe crabs to spider goats, I’ve channeled my childhood fascination with animals, both vertebrates and invertebrates, into research projects. Over the past two decades, I use qualitative research methods that put me in direct contact with multiple different species, gently handling the animals as a way to get to know them and understand them. I’m particularly interested in how humans make animals meaningful as companions, research subjects, raw materials, and living factories. I believe we must move past our own speciesism, or our biases that reify human superiority, to fully embrace living in a multispecies world. 


I wrote...

Our Transgenic Future: Animals, Genetic Modification, and the Will to Change Nature

By Lisa Jean Moore,

Book cover of Our Transgenic Future: Animals, Genetic Modification, and the Will to Change Nature

What is my book about?

The process of manipulating the genetic material of one animal to include the DNA of another creates a new transgenic organism. Several animals, notably goats, mice, sheep, and cattle are genetically modified. In Our Transgenic Future, I consider what such scientific advances portend. I center the story on goats that have been engineered by the US military and civilian scientists using the DNA of spiders and I interweave my own story of using assisted reproductive technologies to have children. Our Transgenic Future focuses on how these goats came into existence and the researchers who maintain them. I also explore larger science of transgenics and synthetics. 

This Way, Charlie

By Carson Levis, Charles Santoso (illustrator),

Book cover of This Way, Charlie

This Way, Charlie is a beautiful book based on the true story of an unlikely friendship between a partially blind horse and a very grumpy and stubborn goat at a wildlife rehabilitation farm. The gentle text tells their story and shows how a little help from a friend can help overcome all kinds of obstacles, physical or mental. The illustrations are beautifully designed and executed in a soft impressionistic way that is almost dreamlike. Resulting in a heartwarming book that celebrates the kindness, compassion, trust, and strength of a friendship.

This Way, Charlie

By Carson Levis, Charles Santoso (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked This Way, Charlie as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

From the award-winning team behind Ida, Always comes a story about a friendship that grows between a blind horse and a gruff goat

All the animals at the Open Bud Ranch can see that Jack likes keeping his space to himself. But when Charlie arrives, he doesn t see Jack at all. He s still getting used to seeing out of only one of his eyes.
The two get off to a bumpy start. At first, Jack is anxious and distrustful. But one day, he summons his courage and guides Charlie to his favorite sunlit field: this way, Charlie. And…

Who am I?

While I am a self-acclaimed cat expert, I have been an animal lover since I could remember. In fact, my favorite childhood memories are of me running barefooted through grass, catching bugs, and chasing birds. I wasn't allowed big pets growing up, but I'm pleased to say I now have two furbabies that fill my heart with love and inspiration! I am still fascinated by nature and the animal kingdom, often indulging in books, podcasts, and especially David Attenborough’s natural documentaries. I think they are all extraordinary and this passion influences my work too, as evident in my body of work. I really enjoy observing and painting animals, as well as illustrating animal characters.


I wrote...

No Fuzzball!

By Isabella Kung,

Book cover of No Fuzzball!

What is my book about?

A hilarious new story from debut picture book artist Isabella Kung. Fuzzball is the queen of the house. Her subjects just love how she scales the tallest shelves and drags their belongings across the floor. Hear how they shout her name everywhere she goes ..."NOFUZZBALL!" But when they leave her queendom for the weekend, she questions whether she should be a more benevolent ruler.

Fans of funny, lovable characters like Aaron Blabey's Pig the Pug, Mo Willems's Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus, and David Shannon's No, David! will fall in love with this furry, feline despot.

Beatrice's Goat

By Page McBrier, Lori Lohstoeter (illustrator),

Book cover of Beatrice's Goat

This is a true story about a little girl in Africa, named Beatrice. Her family is poor and cannot afford to send her to school. Until the day when her family is given a goat, which gives the family the ability to earn an income. Hilary Clinton has written the Afterword to this beautiful kid’s picture book. I actually know Beatrice personally, and her life is a real-life Cinderella story that inspires such hope.

Beatrice's Goat

By Page McBrier, Lori Lohstoeter (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Beatrice's Goat as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This illustrated book offers the true story of how a poor African girl was able to attend school after receiving a goat as a gift through a special international project and then sell its milk to get the money needed to buy her books. Reprint.

Who am I?

My Globetrotter Book’s creative adventure originated from a deep desire to show the world to my son... I am from Quebec, Canada, but I have lived and traveled across the globe with my family for 20+ years and – so far – have lived in Montreal, Paris, New York, Tokyo, and Bangkok! I work as an international consultant on water security issues with the United Nations and other international organisations. My son has grown up, so now, I continue to inspire other kids to explore the myriad beauties and cultures of the world and, as of 2022, to "journey within" with the creation of My Bodytrotter Book.


I wrote...

My Globetrotter Book: Paris

By Marisha Wojciechowska,

Book cover of My Globetrotter Book: Paris

What is my book about?

My Globetrotter Book offers a multitude of fun and stimulating insights into the world for kids, with personalized My Globetrotter Book Certificates offered in each volume to reward young globetrotters for their discovery!

Draw, decode, create, find, color, solve, associate, quiz your way through Paris. Finish drawing the Eiffel Tower. Find your way through the Montmartre maze. Louis XIV needs your help to organize his day. Identify the different Paris neighbourhoods on the map. And so much more! Packed with activities that challenge the mind and offer a unique way to explore the City of Lights. To prepare for your next family trip, revisit a place you have already been, explore a new culture from home, or simply to transform a child into a citizen of the world. My Globetrotter Book: Paris is a Mom’s Choice Awards® Gold Recipient

An Atlas of Animal Anatomy for Artists

By W. Ellenberger, H. Baum, H. Dittrich

Book cover of An Atlas of Animal Anatomy for Artists

This is a useful reference book, dominated by large and carefully drawn plates. The animal kingdom is represented by a small number of familiar domesticated mammals: horse, dog, cow, and goat, together with a lion. Each animal is shown in neutral poses in side, top, and front views, with skeletal and muscular dissections for comparison.

An Atlas of Animal Anatomy for Artists

By W. Ellenberger, H. Baum, H. Dittrich

Why should I read it?

1 author picked An Atlas of Animal Anatomy for Artists as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.


Who am I?

My name is James Gurney and I've been a professional illustrator for National Geographic and Scientific American for over 40 years. Although I went to art school, everything I know about drawing and painting comes from studying art instruction books, and from sketching directly from nature. I'm best known for writing and illustrating the New York Times bestselling Dinotopia book series, published in 32 countries and 18 languages. I designed 15 dinosaur stamps for USPS and a set of five dinosaur stamps for Australia Post. My originals have been shown in over 35 solo museum exhibitions. My book Color and Light has sold over 200k copies and was Amazon's #1 bestselling book on painting for over a year.


I wrote...

Imaginative Realism: How to Paint What Doesn't Exist

By James Gurney,

Book cover of Imaginative Realism: How to Paint What Doesn't Exist

What is my book about?

Most art instruction books show you how to draw or paint something you can see: a still life, a landscape, or a portrait. But what if you want to make a realistic picture of something that you can only imagine? This book shows you the time-tested methods used by artists since the Renaissance to bring your dreams into reality.

Stuff

By Randy O. Frost, Gail Steketee,

Book cover of Stuff: Compulsive Hoarding and the Meaning of Things

Randy Frost and Gail Steketee have done groundbreaking research on hoarding disorder, and their work has helped shift the conversation away from the traditional shame-and-blame approach to the subject. In these case studies, they dig into what drives individuals to accumulate extreme amounts of clutter. Emphasis on individuals—each of these people has a unique, often fascinating story, and Frost and Steketee treat them with compassion and understanding. Stuff helped me understand that forced cleanouts and harsh interventions don’t solve the problem, they only inflict more trauma.

Stuff

By Randy O. Frost, Gail Steketee,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Stuff as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.


Who am I?

I didn’t choose clutter as a topic—it chose me. Around the time Marie Kondo became a tidying-up sensation, my mother suffered a breakdown and could no longer live in her dangerously cluttered house. I’m an only child, so it fell to me to figure what to do with it all. So much stuff! It got me wondering: How did clutter get to be such a huge problem for so many people? The books on this list helped answer that question and made me feel less alone in the struggle with stuff. I hope you find them useful too.


I wrote...

Clutter: An Untidy History

By Jennifer Howard,

Book cover of Clutter: An Untidy History

What is my book about?

Inspired by the painful process of cleaning out her mother’s house, Jennifer Howard sets her own personal struggle with clutter against a meticulously researched history of just how the developed world came to drown in material goods. In an age when Amazon can deliver anything at the click of a mouse and decluttering guru, Marie Kondo can become a reality TV star, Howard’s bracing analysis has never been more timely. Slim and compelling, Clutter is a book for anyone struggling to understand why they have so much stuffand what to do about it.

Words Under the Words

By Naomi Shihab Nye,

Book cover of Words Under the Words: Selected Poems

Nye’s poems are at once complex and accessible. Even the poems that are easy to read offer hidden depths, reflecting the powerful connections that we share as a family and as part of both local and global communities. She strips away the differences in culture and value, reminding us that to be fully human we, like Fowzi the fool (from the poem “Different Ways to Pray”), still need to talk to our version of G-d as easily as we talk to goats. Of Palestinian-American heritage, Nye’s gentle, insightful words offer the hope that somehow, we’ll find a way to be kind to those who are different from us.

Words Under the Words

By Naomi Shihab Nye,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Words Under the Words as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.


Who am I?

As a poet and a dreamer, I believe in a world where we live in harmony with other people, nature, and the Divine. During the completion of my Master of Arts degree, I discovered a love of poetry: the lyrical cadences of the romantic poems reminded me of the sung psalms of my youth. No life is without sorrow, and the gift of poetry — both writing and reading it — has offered me hope through many a dark time, inspiring me to push on towards a new dawn. My wish for you is that, in these poetry collections, you too find a light during these turbulent times that we’re living in.


I wrote...

the dust of hope: rune poems

By Judy Croome,

Book cover of the dust of hope: rune poems

What is my book about?

As a poet and an intuitive tarot reader, my fascination with symbolism and its ability to inspire people is reflected in my latest collection of poetry. I turned to the ancient ways of the Nordic runes, to shine a light of hope and healing as we navigate through the wilderness of anxiety permeating these early years of the twenty-first century. These deceptively simple verses console us with a calm acceptance that, even during a global pandemic, everyday life ebbs and flows with the natural rhythms of the timeless oceans. In these poems, we’re invited to stop, to breathe, and to see the world around us from a new perspective birthed within the centre of our souls.  

Celeste the Giraffe Loves to Laugh

By Celeste Barber, Matt Cosgrove (illustrator),

Book cover of Celeste the Giraffe Loves to Laugh

The great thing about picture books is they can give these incredible, and sometimes incredibly simple, messages about life. Celeste the Giraffe Loves to Laugh is a story about Celeste, who doesn’t know where she fits in, she feels like all the other animals are cooler than her. So she sets out to be like them in order to be “better”. But that leads to one disaster after another, with Matt Cosgrove’s hilarious illustrations adding to the action as Celeste uses all sorts of random items for her costumes.

In the end, Celeste finds her own special gift, the thing that makes her at least as cool as all the other animals!

Celeste the Giraffe Loves to Laugh

By Celeste Barber, Matt Cosgrove (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Celeste the Giraffe Loves to Laugh as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Celeste was a friendly, happy little giraffe. She had a kind heart and she made others laugh. But Celeste sometimes worried that she wasn't enough. It seemed like other animals did much cooler stuff. Join Celeste the Giraffe on her hilarious journey as she finds out what it is that makes her unique.

Who am I?

I am obsessed with personal development, having attended seminars to walk across hot coals and jump from crazy heights to test my limits, and I have read hundreds of books and watched hundreds of videos on self-improvement. But sometimes the best lessons come in fiction, and kid’s books do this so wonderfully. And they are a lot quicker to read and absorb! They also teach with humour, rhythm, and joy, and can change a child’s life simply by letting them escape into a world of laughter and joy, expanding their imaginations, and letting them absorb the lessons, sometimes without even realising it.


I wrote...

How to Catch a Leprechaun

By Adam Wallace, Andy Elkerton (illustrator),

Book cover of How to Catch a Leprechaun

What is my book about?

How to Catch a Leprechaun is a crazy, chaotic St. Patrick’s Day Eve rhyming romp through the houses of kids trying to catch a Leprechaun. With a mixture of slapstick, STEM, and escalation, How to Catch a Leprechaun has hit the New York Times Bestseller List four years in a row leading up to St Patrick’s Day.

Mr. Gumpy's Outing

By John Burningham,

Book cover of Mr. Gumpy's Outing

Everyone wants to join Mr. Gumpy on his boat! Children, goats, pigs, chickens! What an adventure! I love the odd word choices as a chance to learn new words like ‘muck about” and “squabble” as well as teaching the difference between the goat “bleating” not bleeding! (As a teacher, I feel qualified to go there.) So fun, kids love acting this out this one also. And we always have a tea party at the end, just like in the book.

Mr. Gumpy's Outing

By John Burningham,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Mr. Gumpy's Outing as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

One day Mr Gumpy decides to take a trip along the river in his boat but the children, the rabbit, the cat, the pig and lots more friends decide to join him. Everyone's having a lovely time until the animals start kicking, bleating, hopping and flapping and the boat starts to rock.

Who am I?

As an author/illustrator of 26 books for children and a full-time teacher of 3 year old’s in a nursery school. I read 1-2 books to a classroom of little critics every day. I’m also a lover of adventure although most of my adventures take place in my mind, the library or museum! As a storyteller, I love seeing the adventures books can take young readers on. 


I wrote...

Road Trip! a Whiskers Hollow Adventure

By Steve Light,

Book cover of Road Trip! a Whiskers Hollow Adventure

What is my book about?

When Bear’s old truck needs a new headlight, there’s just one thing to do: organize a road trip to find a new one. And a road trip wouldn’t be complete without friends! Bear brings along Rabbit, who wants assurances that there will be snacks; timid, cautious Mouse; and ever-positive Donkey. After a day of adventure and misadventure, will the four friends find what they need? Head over to Whiskers Hollow—the whimsically detailed new world from Steve Light—and hop in with Bear and friends for a fun adventure to Elephant’s Old Junk Tree. 

I am very proud of this book and the characters represented in this story. I used animals and did not use any pronouns in this book hoping that any child can relate to the characters. 

How to Hug a Pufferfish

By Ellie Peterson,

Book cover of How to Hug a Pufferfish

Author-illustrator Ellie Peterson’s recently published book How to Hug a Pufferfish is much needed in today’s world. It’s a story not only about giving hugs, but also about asking permission to give a hug. In an engaging and fun way with cartoonish illustrations, Peterson uses the prickly pufferfish to humorously show that not everyone wants to receive a hug all the time. If you’re a pufferfish, you need to be asked. It’s a book about consent for the youngest readers, presented in the sweetest age-appropriate way you can imagine. I will definitely be reading this at my story time, and might even gift this to a few prickly adults! 

How to Hug a Pufferfish

By Ellie Peterson,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked How to Hug a Pufferfish as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.


Who am I?

As a children’s author of board books through picture books (Baby Code series, Chicks!, Bizarre Birds, and The Biggest Pumpkin) and as a librarian, I love books that make children feel good and loved. When I was working on my picture book The Giant Hug, I researched what other hug books had been published. There weren’t many back in 2002, but I continued to be on the lookout even after mine was published. I’m happy to report that there are quite a few hug books out there now, spreading love, hugs, and kindness to readers of all ages. We all need them!   


I wrote...

The Giant Hug

By Sandra Horning, Valeri Gorbachev (illustrator),

Book cover of The Giant Hug

What is my book about?

How do you give a hug when your granny lives far away? Send it through the mail, of course! This sweet story makes a perfect gift for a special person in your life, whether they live near or far.

Owen’s hug travels across the country in a series of hilarious, sometimes awkward, always heartfelt embraces between animals of different shapes and sizes. Valeri Gorbachev’s adorable artwork pairs beautifully with Sandra Horning’s charming text, and makes for a fun, funny, and educational read-aloud. An unexpected twist at the end will delight readers and have kids asking for this book again and again. 

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