Beatrice's Goat

Beatrice's Goat
by Page McBrier and Lori Lohstoeter
lesson ideas, awards won, a peek inside, and more

Beatrice's Goat is a moving picture book tells the story of how the lives
of one poor family in Africa were dramatically improved by the simple gift
of a goat from a generous stranger and a 
charitable organization named Heifer Project. Beatrice desperately wants to go to school, but her family 
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 cannot afford it. Instead, she spends her days caring for her younger
siblings and helping in the fields on their small plot of land in a rural African village. Then one day, Beatrice's family receives a precious gift from a non-profit organization--a goat!  In time, the goat provides milk to sell as well as baby goats, and soon the family has earned enough money so Beatrice can go to school.

The story is illustrated with vibrant acrylic paintings that powerfully depict the culture, environment, and poverty of the African landscape. Based on the work of the nonprofit organization
Heifer Project, this story shows how a small act of generosity can make a big difference in the lives of others, particularly those living in impoverished conditions here or abroad.

We used this book in our holiday 'season of giving' unit and it was a great success! To read more about the unit and how this book factored in, click here:
Beatrice's Goat lessons/activities. Also, you may want to follow up a read aloud of this book with some information about the real Beatrice behind the story. You can find the inspirational details about her life here.

    Beatrice's Goat
  --  Page McBrier

    Reading Stats
    Interest Level:  K-Gr.2      D.R.A. Level: 30-34
    Reading Level: age 4-8     Lexile Measure: AD640L

    Topics Covered
    teaching generosity / giving to others (Char Ed)

    Awards & Rating
    NCTE Orbis Picture Award 2002
    Avg Amazon Rating:
5 stars (33 reviews)
Beatrice's Goat

Peek Inside
Below are two spreads from the beginning of Beatrice's Goat. As you can see, the illustrations are lush and depict village life in a tropical African locale. There is quite a bit of text in this story andI was initially worried that my class of first graders wouldn't be able to sit through it. Wow was I wrong. They were riveted throughout the story and even talked about Beatrice periodically for days afterward. It made quite an impression!

The first spread below depicts Beatrice and her distraught mother who knows she must tell Beatrice that they do not have enough money to send her to school. The second spread shows young Beatrice watching the class from a distance, fearing "I'll never be able to go to school."

Beatrice's Goat

Beatrice's Goat

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