Friday, April 12, 2024

Tuggoat by Kersten Hamilton

I saw today's cover and wondered how in the world this would even work. We've had goats, and they weren't as easy to care for as cattle. Plus, they ate all of my flowers whenever they escaped, and they are clever creates. I do find the cute, though. Especially from a distance. My brother and his wife have raised goats for decades, and it's fun to see them grazing and playing around on the pasture. They can do amazing things and should never be underestimated. But a tuggoat?

Hmm...I'm definitely curious to see where this one goes.

by Kersten Hamilton
Illustrated by Adriane Tsai
Beaming Books
Picture Book
40 pages
ages 4 to 8


Kids will giggle with joy at Cordelia the goat's antics in this whimsical tale about self-confidence, empathy, and never backing down from big dreams.

Cordelia is not like other goats. While others gambol on the hill and nibble on interesting things, she looks out with longing at the tugboats in the bay. Cordelia may be a goat, but she wants to be a tugboat. And she's going to be a tugboat--a tuggoat--no matter what anybody tells her! Even if the world doesn't believe in her, Cordelia knows exactly who she is.

With plenty of heart and lots of laughs, Cordelia's story will inspire readers to be themselves, no matter what other people say. Sometimes that means extending a helping hand--or hoof--to the ones who doubt you. Tuggoat reminds kids that anything is possible when you believe in yourself.



Never underestimate a goat, especially a tuggoat who is determined to accomplish its goals and knows how to have fun along the way.

Cordelia loves to gaze at the tugboats in the bay at the foot of the grassy hill. She dreams of being a tuggoat and decides it's time to give it a try. When she runs across a tire with a rope attached, she finally has her chance to show what she can do. Tugging her best friend around the barnyard is so much more fun than she ever expected, but the other goat won't just let her be and constantly criticizes her every effort. Still, Cordelia isn't about to give up her dream.

Giggles and smiles are sure to come during this cute tale. Cordelia is such a fun goat, which becomes clear with even the very first scene. She's sitting straight up on a hill right next to her best friend, a small pig, as they watch the boats in the bay below, while the other goats behave like normal goats around her. This tight balance on the border between realistic and fantasy holds throughout the read and gives it an interesting atmosphere. But then, the entire read doesn't head quite where a person might think, and the reactions from other characters even a good way.

The story flows well and holds quite a bit of humor. Cordelia is an active goat, and her pig friend is ready to join right in. This fun slams against the more serious goats to work in a dual message surrounding the importance of helping others as well as the golden lining life holds, when we don't take everything overly seriously. If this read felt like it was heading into a serious message direction toward the end, the author quickly shifts gears to make sure the fun holds strong. 

It's a lovely read for story times and I think readers might even hope to see this goat again in future reads.

And here they are...

Kersten Hamilton is a critically acclaimed author of books for toddlers, teens, and all people in between. She is the author of Red Truck, which received a starred review from Booklist, First Friend: How Dogs Evolved from Wolves to Become Our Best Friends, and the YA novel In the Forests of the Night, among many other books for children and teens. She currently lives in New Mexico

Adriane Tsai is a Taiwanese American illustrator from Southern California. As someone who has wanted to be an artist since childhood, she encourages everyone that they can acieve their biggest dreams. 

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