Goat on a Boat by Nick Dent.

This book had me at the title. And, the front cover looked like fun. But, when I read on, I found myself chuckling at the wordplay and illustrations of a serious topic. Usually I’m not looking for a message in a fun book, I like ‘em message free and as silly as possible, but I got a real kick out of this book. As someone who grew up in a multi-cultural suburb of Melbourne, I’m very appreciative of the generosity and amazing things people from all walks of life bring to the table. But, not everyone sees it this way.

Turn Back the Goats!

A goat is arriving by boat to the island of Joxx.

“Stop the goats!” says Bighorn Bill, the self-appointed spokes-sheep of the local flock.

You see, food on Joxx is scarce and the land is rocky and harsh. “He’s arrived to eat all our wild oats! We must bar his entry!”

Fortunately, a ewe named Fleecy Jean disagreed and spoke up.

Fleecy Jean thinks Big Horn Bill is selfish and mean. Fleecy Jean is nice. Be like Fleecy Jean

Not everyone thinks like Bill, Fleecy Jean sees this as an opportunity to share and learn. She says Goat should stay and share what food there is. But, Bill won’t have a Baaaaaar of it and wants to lock Goat up.

The newcomer has new talents

But, the goat had other ideas. He climbed up the rocks, like goats often do – up over the island, as high as the birds. Goat had a look of excitement about him that said, there’s more to this island.

Fleecy Jean closed her eyes and opened her mind to exciting possibilities and leapt up onto the rocks and after Goat. Soon, the other sheep began to follow. All except for stubborn old Bighorn Bill.

Up and up over the rocks. Fleecy Jean reached the top with delirious glee and could not believe what her sheep eyes could see.

Come one. Come all

I love the illustrations, particularly all the animals on their little boats. Suzanne Houghton captured the island so well. But mostly, I like the fun word play used by the author throughout the book. It’s a fun spin on something quite serious. Nick Dent for Prime Minister.

For more info on Nick Dent on caring and sharing and all about this author, go to his website here: http://nickdentbooks.com/

And, to check out more wonderful illustrations from an emerging Australian talent, see Suzanne Houghton’s website here: http://suzannehoughton.com.au/


Title: Goat on a Boat

Author: Nick Dent

Illustrator: Suzanne Houghton

Publisher: Omnibus Books, Scholastic, 2019

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