cover image Little Apple Goat

Little Apple Goat

Caroline Jayne Church, . . Eerdmans, $16 (28pp) ISBN 978-0-8028-5320-2

In this wisp of a tale, the cutie-pie protagonist is “ordinary in every way”—with one major exception: while other goats are content to chomp on garbage and clothes, she loves anything that grows in an orchard. Then, having chowed down on apples, pears and cherries, she does what readers probably wish they could do, if it weren't for the constraints of polite society: she simply spits out the pits and seeds—“Plippety plip!” —as she trots back to the barn. Little Apple Goat doesn't think twice about the long-term impact of her actions until a storm destroys her beloved fruit trees, and all the seeds and pits she's been unintentionally planting create a brand-new orchard every bit as fecund and pretty as its predecessor. Church's (One Smart Goose ) cartoon animals and cheery rural scenes, rendered in boldly outlined collages and watercolors, exude a happy, toy-like charm. But kids may be bothered by the way time passes—it takes years for the orchard to establish itself, and Little Apple Goat is still the same spunky kid she was in the opening pages. Ages 3-7. (Sept.)