One Little Goat

Ursula Dubosarsky, illus. by Andrew Joyner. Little Hare (IPG/Trafalgar Sq., dist.), $17.99 (40p) ISBN 978-1-74297-692-1
The duo behind The Terrible Plop returns with a spiky riff on the cumulative song “Had Gadya” (a Passover Seder staple) that softens its sharp edges—somewhat. Joyner’s loopy, brightly colored cartoons set the action in a contemporary-looking village, where a girl introduces the “little baby goat/ My daddy bought.” As in the original song (which dates to the 16th century), the goat is promptly eaten—in this case by a tabby cat wearing a mauve suit. Joyner shows the girl looking at the cat with alarm (the rope leash she’s holding now ends in its mouth). The cat is then bit by a dog that gets whacked by a “great big stick” come to life, which is burned by a ball of flame that runs around on stick legs. The destruction continues (an ox in a tracksuit is chased by a cleaver-wielding mouse butcher) until everyone is scared off by a foreboding stranger. In the original, this character is the angel of death. Here, it’s neighborhood kids in disguise—joined by the somehow resurrected goat—who defuse the preceding comic violence with a good dose of mischief. Up to age 4. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 08/28/2017
Release date: 10/01/2017
Genre: Children's
Paperback - 32 pages - 978-1-76050-375-8
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