Mr. Goat's Valentine
by Eve Bunting
After reading in the newspaper that it's Valentine's Day, Mr. Goat sets out in search of very special gifts for his first love. But just what would a goat choose as the perfect gifts to show how he feels? Readers will be in for a surprise at Mr. Goat's nontraditional selections. From acclaimed children's author Eve Bunting comes a sweet holiday tale sure to warm hearts on Valentine's Day and every day of the year.
- Dewey: [E]
- Graphics: Full-color illustrations
- Hardcover (9781585369447): 32 pages, 9 (w) x 9 (h), © 2016, 01/01/2016
- PDF (9781634707886): 32 pages, 9 (w) x 9 (h), © 2016, 01/01/2016
- Hosted ebook (9781634708005): 32 pages, 9 (w) x 9 (h), © 2016, 01/01/2016
- Subject: Language Arts
- Suggested Interest Level: Age 5 - Age 7
- Suggested Reading Level: Grade 1
- Lexile® Measure: 560
- Guided Reading Level: L
- ATOS Reading Level: 2.5
- ATOS Interest Level: LG
- Accelerated Reader® Quiz: 182262
- Accelerated Reader® Points: 0.5
- JUVENILE FICTION / Holidays & Celebrations / Valentine's Day (JUV017070)
- JUVENILE FICTION / Animals / General (JUV002000)
- JUVENILE FICTION / Humorous Stories (JUV019000)
Booklist - Mr. Goat's Valentine
Reviewed on 1 January 2016
Apparently in the goat world, typical Valentine’s Day offerings are not chocolates and fragrant flower arrangements in lovely vases, but rather rotten eggs (the older the better) and weeds in cans (the rustier the better). Mr. Goat is on the search for a valentine for his first love and picks items he thinks will be just right: two-year-old eggs and a bouquet of crabgrass, pigweed, and ragweed. As he proceeds along the way, he adds to his appeal with a squirt of Eau de Skunk from Miss Skunk and stops to compose a song. His “first love” turns out to be his mother, and, of course, she is delighted with the gifts. The brief text and the large, bright, and uncluttered illustrations make this a natural choice for a Valentine’s Day read-aloud. While the goats are entranced by the rotten eggs, the audience’s response to the sight of green eggs oozing a black liquid, complete with wavy stink lines, will probably be loud “ewws”—which makes this all the more fun!
School Library Journal - Mr. Goat's Valentine
Reviewed on 1 January 2016
It’s Valentine’s Day, and Goat sets off to find the perfect gift for his first love. Nothing says “I love you” to a goat more than a tin can filled with ragweed salad, two-year-old rotten eggs, and the aroma of skunk-scented perfume. When Goat realizes that he does not have a card, he struggles to come up with one more thing to make the gift complete. He’s deep in thought under a shady tree when the answer miraculously comes to him. It’s a surprise that young listeners will enjoy. Bunting has written a sweet story for Valentine’s Day—or any other day of the year. This is a fun read-aloud for older preschool-age children. While the tale is not complex, it is endearing and amusing. Children will delight in the variety of gifts Goat selects all through the story. They will also enjoy predicting the secret identity of Goat’s first love. Zimmer’s large, vibrant cartoonlike illustrations complement the story and its characters. Readers will be drawn to their eyes, which are sizable and full of expression. VERDICT A great holiday addition.
Publishers Weekly Starred Review - Mr. Goats' Valentine
Reviewed on 1 January 2016
For readers who think Valentine’s Day is too sappy, Bunting and Zimmer have an ideal antidote. That’s because Mr. Goat’s idea of the perfect gifts for his “first love” include ragweed salad in a rusty can and two-year-old rotten eggs. “Guaranteed foul and disgusting,” says the proud vendor. Zimmer playfully emphasizes the story’s gross-out moments in his exaggerated, vibrantly colored illustrations, and Bunting keeps the target of Mr. Goat’s affections secret until the final page. Suffice it to say that mothers will be happier to receive this book than, say, a box of “black and oozing” rotten eggs. Ages 5–7.
Kirkus Reviews - Mr. Goat's Valentine
Reviewed on 15 November 2015
Mr. Goat gathers everything he will need to show his first love just how much she means to him. Part of the fun in Bunting’s latest is the dichotomy between what Mr. Goat chooses as gifts and what child readers would choose. Miss Nanny Goat’s weed stall is the caprine equivalent of a flower seller’s stand; Goat requests a mixed bouquet of “Crabgrass, pigweeds, and ragweed in that nice, rusty can.” At Mr. Pygmy-Little Goat’s stand, he picks up four rotten eggs, “Guaranteed foul and disgusting.” The icing on the cake is the red heart-shaped box these are packed in, tied with a red ribbon. Miss Skunk provides a little cologne for Goat so he’ll smell as good as his eggs, but she also points out his lack of a card. This brings him up short, and he sits under a tree to compose a song for his love instead. Ready at last, he stops at her door and starts singing. When the door opens, adult readers will not be surprised as to the identity of Goat’s first love, but children might be. Zimmer’s digital illustrations are full of rich, bright colors. While a few items are textured and appear 3-D (Goat’s hat and pants, the rusty can), most are flat and cartoonish, including the characters. Readers who have sought out their own perfect gifts will recognize the emotions that play across his face. A not-so-sweet-smelling Valentine treat. (Picture book. 4-7)
Author: Eve Bunting
An author of more than 250 children’s books, Eve Bunting has won numerous awards and honors, including a Pen International Special Achievement award for her contribution to Children’s Literature. In 2002 she was chosen to be Irish American Woman of the Year by the Irish American Heritage Committee of New York. She lives in Pasadena, California.
Illustrator: Kevin Zimmer
As a child, Kevin Zimmer could not resist drawing on any available scrap of paper or napkin. Greatly encouraged by his parents to pursue his passion for illustration, he attended Kendall College of Art and Design in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Over the past 20 years his love for character development, dynamic compositions, and playing with color and light has come through on multiple products such as children’s books, magazines, and greeting cards, as well as an occasional napkin.
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- Author/Illustrator biography