Perfect Picture Book Friday – Beatrice’s Goat

Susanna Leonard Hill has a feature on her blog called Perfect Picture Book Friday (PPBF). It is a list of “perfect” picture books recommended by all sorts of people. I chose this book because it is a great real life story!

By Page McBrier

Illustrated by Lori Lohstoeter

Afterword by Hillary Rodham Clinton

40 pages – Ages 4+

Published by Aladdin on June 22, 2004

Theme/Topic –  Charity / multicultural / non-fiction

Opening and Synopsis – “If you were to visit the small African village of Kisinga in the rolling hills of western Uganda, and if you were to take a left at the crossroads and follow a narrow dirt path between two tall banana groves, you would come to the home of a girl named Beatrice.”

Beatrice lives in a small house in Uganda with her mother and five younger brothers and sisters. She spends the day helping to farm the land and feed the chickens, but what Beatrice really wants is to be able to go to school, but her family can’t afford it. One day her mother told Beatrice that some people from far away picked her family to receive a gift that will change their lives. When Beatrice found out the gift was a goat, she didn’t think a goat would do a lot for them. Beatrice soon found that if they took care of the goat, Mugisa, she would provide enough milk to sell that Beatrice’s mother could afford to send her to school.

Why I liked this book – First of all I thought it was really cool that this is a true story! Secondly, our family has supported this charity (Heifer International) before and I like how the charity works.

Taken from Heifer International’s website – “Heifer International’s mission is to work with communities to end hunger and poverty and care for the earth. By giving families a hand-up, not just a hand-out, we empower them to turn lives of hunger and poverty into self-reliance and hope.”

The book is not only about the charity but also about helping others and caring for your community and environment.

Activities and Resources – I thought it was so cool that I found out more about Beatrice! You can find Beatrice Biira’s real life story at Heifer International’s website by clicking HERE.  

There is also a 60 Minutes news story and interview with Beatrice you can see HERE

I also found a neat website that has a bunch of computer activities (slide show, vocabulary, and research into charities). The site is called Treasures. You can get to it by clicking HERE

Beatrice Biira as a child

Beatrice Biira graduating from Connecticut College in May 2008

To find more Perfect Picture Books please visit Susanna Hill’s blog  HERE!

Categories: Age 1-5, Age 6-9, Age 9+

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37 replies

  1. Sounds like a great book. I love the extra information you found about Beatrice. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Another true story for PPBF – great pick Erik! The text sounds very lyrical too.

  3. Wow, Erik this is right up my alley! I love stories like this. Its a wonderful thing being able to help people help themselves. Great review and great book thanks for sharing. Thanks also for the links.

  4. Wonderful story and beautiful text. I love true story picture books. We can all learn so much from them. Excellent addition! And the activity is such a good one. I want to learn more about her. 🙂

  5. Erick, I love this book and the whole organization. This is a superb choice for PPPF! I need to make time for the 60 minute news story and interview!

  6. What an incredible-sounding book, and a great choice for PPBF! I’m going to be sharing the link to this post on Facebook, because it’s a book more people need to know about. Thanks, Erik!

  7. One of my very favorite books Eric. Gave it to all my grandchildren when it came out. I’m a big supporter of Hiefer International, and my daughter’s senior class raised anough money to buy an ARK of animals as their community service. Beatrice’s story is strong and I love idea how she wouldn’t give up. Love the video. Remember when she was Sen. Hillay Clinton’s intern one summer! I’m glad you reviewed this story for PPB Friday!

    • It is great and so is Heifer International! I’m really glad that your daughter raised enough money to buy tons of animals for people that need them! I’m glad you like my review and choice! I didn’t know that she was Hillary Clinton’s intern for a summer job – that’s really cool!

  8. My mom always gave us presents of Heifer International when we were grown up and I have also donated to this charity. I wasn’t familiar with Beatrice though and I want to thank you for sharing. This sounds like a great book , one I would love to read. Am also sharing it on my face book page. This is made for sharing. 🙂

  9. I love this book. Heifer Int’l is a favorite of mine and I always used this book in my classroom. Thanks for sharing!

  10. Thanks for including Beatrice’s pictures – this looks great!

  11. Beatrice looks like an amazing woman, can’t wait to learn more about her! Thanks for sharing!

  12. Thank you for sharing the pictures and stories of Beatrice through the years. My mother in law has given donations to Heifer International in my boys names as Christmas presents, it’s a great organization. Excellent recommendation!

  13. This is a wonderful book and a great way to let children in North America how the things we take for granted are not always available for children in other countries. I love the extra information too.

  14. Erik, this looks amazing. I love the photos you included. Excellent choice for this week.
    A2ZMommy and What’s In Between

  15. As soon as I read your description, Erik, I thought it sounded like Heifer International. What a great organization. We’ve given livestock as gifts too. It’s fun to see what a difference these gifts can make.

  16. I appreciate you sharing this story. A great message and a great real-life result of change. I need to share this with my husband. He was a Peace Corps volunteer and didn’t have pleasant experiences with this organization. I hear so many good things about it, I hope he just had contact with a few bad apples.

  17. Great review, Erik. I read about Heifer International last fall. I was actually researching for a picture book I am writing. It is fiction, but has a goat as the main character. A flyer came in the mail about Heifer International’s mission. The 60 minutes story was very interesting. Thanks for the link.

  18. What a great review of a fantastic book! I am an employee of Heifer International, and I thought you might like to hear that Beatrice works for Heifer as well! She is a community engagement office in New York City, and we hope to begin featuring her on the Heifer Blog as well. Thanks for the support!

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