Cindy Hewitt is a retired teacher with a passion for children's literature. Read-aloud stories add quality to a child's life experiences.
Fun Fairy Tale With a Twist and a Surprise Ending
What Would You Do When a Kid is Not a Child?
Dan Richards' Once Upon a Goat is a delightful and creative fairy tale with a play on the words "kid" and "child". There is also a life lesson with the idea that family members can come in all kinds of forms. Young readers will have fun with the surprise ending.
A king and queen wanted a child very much. A fairy godmother appeared one day and they described their perfect child to her. They really wanted a son. They finally told the fairy godmother that any kid would do and she agreed to grant their wish. The next morning their kid had arrived on the front steps, but obviously this was not the kid that they wanted. The kid was a baby goat! The queen looked on the bright side that they would not have to change diapers. The little kid was put outside but the rain soon made the king and queen feel guilty for putting the little creature outside and they brought him back in. There were lots of adventures that occurred in the weeks and months that followed. The fairy godmother appeared one day for a visit and wanted to see the child that she had sent. She realized that she had made a mistake with the word "kid" and the surprise ending will delight young readers. The family became complete.
Eric Barclay contributed his talents as an illustrator with colorful and fun illustrations. Once Upon a Goat teaches the lesson that family members can sometimes be difficult to accept. Families can definitely come with all kinds of members.
Once Upon a Goat was published by Alfred A. Knopf, a division of Random House Children's Books. It is recommended for ages 3-8 and has an ISBN of 97815247737.
Colorful and Fun Illustrations from Eric Barclay
Creative Classroom Activities With This Picture Book
Picture books were always my favorite tool to teach a variety of lessons in my early childhood classroom. Dan Richards' Once Upon a Goat presents several creative curriculum ideas to enhance reading and language skills in an early childhood and early elementary classroom.
*Read Once Upon a Goat in a story time session. Call attention to the fairy godmother. Engage children in a discussion of other fairy tales that a fairy godmother appears in.
*Create a writing project for group participation and offer the children an opportunity to present their ideas of a wish that they might ask a fairy godmother to grant. What did the king and queen ask their fairy godmother for?
*Call attention to the use of the word "kid". The play on words with Once Upon a Goat offers the opportunity for lessons in our English language with words that can mean different things. Create a lesson on these kinds of words. How does the fairy godmother get confused with the word "kid"?
*Have a thesaurus available for older elementary students to find words that can mean different things.
*Offer a creative writing activity for children to write their own story of a wish that they would ask for if a fairy godmother appeared to them. Allow children who cannot write the opportunity draw their story.
*Invite students to draw their own family and include a pet that they have. Once Upon a Goat presents the opportunity for children to learn that pets are family members too. What kinds of adventures do they have with their pet? If a student does not have a pet, engage them in a discussion of what kind of pet they would like and what kinds of activities they would participate in with a pet of their choice.
© 2019 Cindy Hewitt