cover image Escape Goat

Escape Goat

Ann Patchett, illus. by Robin Preiss Glasser. HarperCollins, $18.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-06-288339-1

In this follow-up to Lambslide, Patchett and Glasser return to the Farmers’ busy farm. This time, the focus is a happy-go-lucky unnamed goat who’s a serial escapee. He never goes far, and he causes little harm—climbing over the fence of his pen, he visits the horses and cows, eats a cabbage from the garden, and “scratched an itch on a pig’s back because the pig couldn’t reach it himself.” But the humans soon realize that the animal makes a convenient fall goat for their screw-ups. The Farmer boys blame Escape Goat for trampling the flower bed (they did it), Mrs. Farmer blames him for kicking over a bucket of paint (she did it)—the blaming continues. It’s up to young Nicolette Farmer, who has been keeping track of the family’s fibs, to demand justice. “EXCUSE ME!” she shouts. “You’re punishing the goat for things he didn’t do.” (The goat looks on in winsome cluelessness, chewing on alfalfa.) Readers may yearn for the anthropomorphized characters of the previous book, but the lesson here, delivered with the lightest of touches, is serious and unmistakable: justice, and goat justice in particular, will prevail. Ages 4–8. [em](Apr.) [/em]