International Goat Day is coming up in June and to do our share in learning more about this little understood animal (no, goats do not eat tin cans, they are actually very intelligent) we have gathered the best books about goats we could find. We included books for children 3 to 8 (the age range of my own kids), mostly picture books with a few non-fiction titles thrown in for good measure. We found all of these books at our local library. To enhance your reading experience, we included extension activities, some study guides, and a wide range of goat activities from 3-D paper goat, goat masks, and goat race video to goat drawing tutorial and links to photos of famous goats.
If you are interested in creating a week-long Goat study like we did, check out Goat Sensory Play post that contains lots of goat-themed activities.
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The Goat in the Rug by Geraldine, as told by Charles Blood and Martin Link
This educational and touching book is about beautiful friendship and cooperation. It also provides a lesson about how goat wool is spun into yarn and then turned into a rug. The story is told by the goat Geraldine and the action takes place on a Navajo Reservation in Arizona. After reading this story, you might want to watch this video with your kids about turning fiber into yarn. If you have a second grader, like I do, we discovered two lesson plans that we liked (click here for lesson 1: Supplemental Activities and click here for lesson 2: Vocabulary/Writing).
G is for Goat by Patricia Polacco
We have never met Patricia Polacco book that disappointed us and this one full of bouncy rhyme and engaging illustrations is no exception. With this beautiful pencil-and-watercolors book kids will journey through the alphabet and learn about goats at the same time. “E is for Ears, / some floppy, some not. / F is for Flowers, / which goats eat a lot.” There is no end of activities to go with this book. Make a simple shapes goat with Fantastic Fun and Learning, try a hand print goat with Crystal & Co or try many other goat activities with First School.
Huck Runs Amuck by Sean Taylor, illustrated by Peter H. Reynolds
This is the funniest book we have read in a long time! The goat by the name of Huck loves “flowers, flowers, flowers.” The problem is that other goats like flowers too, so there isn’t that many flowers left around. However, Huck is not giving up. My kids find Huck’s adventures absolutely hilarious and the finale doesn’t fail to make them laugh out loud no matter how many times we read the book. I love the repetition, goat’s hilarious troubles, and watercolor/ink illustrations. After you read the book put together a mountain goat with Learn Create Love, then make him some nice pretty paper flowers to eat.
Greeley the Mean Goat by R. Barri Flowers
Everybody thinks Greeley is mean and treats him as such. But when Sally meets him, she discovers that he is not mean, just misunderstood and lonely. We always like to supplement reading with related activities. One Time Through created a great library of resources to teach kids about feelings. We liked emotions matching game and exploring emotions sensory play.
Beatrice’s Goat by Page McBriar, illustrated by Lori Lohstoeter
My 5 and 8 year old were deeply touched by this beautifully illustrated and well written story based on true events. Life is very different for kids in other parts of the world and learning about different cultures will help children celebrate differences in all people. For Beatrice, the main character in this story, days are filled with hard work and school is an impossible dream. Yet life is not without its miracles. Read on to find out how an unexpected gift of a single goat can turn a life around. After reading this book, you can go on line with your kids and donate $10 to help a family in Africa get a goat. You might also want to read this simple guide Teaching kids about giving back that you can start using right now.
Grumpy Goat by Brett Helquist
A new goat on a farm is grumpy and unapproachable. Unexpectedly he develops a unique friendship with a blooming dandelion that warms him up and opens his heart to friendship with farm animals. But one day the wind blows the fragile white dandelion fluff away…. What is going to happen to this goat now? Would he go back to his old grumpy ways? Great lesson about bad temper, happiness, willingness to change, being open to new experiences, and the meaning of friendships. Visit Artists Helping Children for a wide range of different goat activities: from homemade goat masks to 3-D standing goats.
Gregory the Terrible Eater by Mitchell Sharmat, illustrated by Jose Aruego and Ariane Dewey
Gregory is a goat that likes healthy food. This drives his parents crazy since all they want is for their Gregory to be just like other goats and eat coats, boxes and other garbage. This backward book will have your kids giggling in delight. There is nothing like a different perspective to learn a thing or two about balance. Read Tips for talking to Kids about Nutrition, then introduce kids to the Five Food Groups with this free printable.
Goats for Kids: amazing animal books for young readers by Rachel Smith
This is a great introductory book written specifically for young readers. It is full of interesting information and is accompanied by beautiful pictures. I love that the book busts some popular myths like the one about goats eating everything. Goats are actually very picky eaters. After reading this book we watched a clip of a Goat Race with my kids. We all thought it was pretty bizarre. After a heated discussion about whether the goat race is cruel, we headed over to Simple Art Style channel and used their tutorial to draw a simple goat.
Goats (farm animals) by Heather Hudak
This book is about goats that live on farms. There is a great overview of goat feeding, grooming, training, breeding, and life cycle. I like that there is a historical note and a glimpse into a goat folklore. After reading this book, head over to a local farm or petting zoo to get a hands on goat experience, but don’t forget to review the safety guidelines. Did you know that according to The Childhood Goat Trauma Foundation in the USA alone 6,000 people are traumatized by goats every year?
The Three Billy Goats Gruff by Paul Galdone
What is a Goat day without reading this most famous goat story of all times?! This originally Norwegian story now has many different versions. I picked the one by Paul Galdone because we are huge fans of his style and own many of his books. His illustrations are always visually pleasing. I like how he sticks to the classical narration, while making it relevant to modern kids. After reading this story, you might be interested in reading 10 things you didn’t know about goats.
The Three Billy Goats Fluff by Rachael Mortimer, illustrated by Liz Pichon
I want to finish our goat list with this funny twist on the classical tale. If you like fractured tales, you will definitely enjoy this book. It’s cute, well illustrated and provides a good lesson in problem solving and friendships. Ask the kids to act out the story. Watch breath-taking photographs of crazy goats on cliffs here. Or check out these funny goat pics for your daily dose of giggles.
This is the list of our favorite goat books. I hope you will enjoy them as much as we did. Do you happen to have any favorite goat books that are not included in our list?