Is this the fanciest goat in the whole wide world? He wears a top hat, and has his own chauffeur. He can fly a plane, and dance ballet. Hold on a second. Something doesn’t add up here. Is he admiring the Mona Lisa, or is he eating it? On closer inspection, this poor goat isn’t the least bit fancy.
This laugh-out-loud picture book (for ages 3 – 8) chronicles the adventures of a hapless goat whose owner believes him to be waaaaaay fancier than he actually is. Written by Jeremy Holmes and Justin Gregg, with illustrations by Jeremy Holmes.
Written and illustrated by Jeremy Holmes with co-author Justin Gregg, Fancy Goat is a hilarious children’s picture book featuring beautiful hand-painted illustrations. The hapless protagonist is a run-of-the-mill goat who is constantly being transformed into a fashion icon by a little girl who thinks he’s waaaaay fancier than he actually is. She gives him a cravat, top hat, pearls, tutu – whatever she thinks the goat “wants” in order to live the extravagant lifestyle that seems to be driving her crazy.
Despite her protests, it’s obvious (to the reader) that the goat is not fancy at all. He’s just a blank canvas for her imagination.
Why do kids need Fancy Goat?
The little girl in Fancy Goat is able to dress up her goat in whatever outfit she can imagine. In her world there is not pink and blue – just fanciness and fun. The adults in her life allow her to express her creative side without telling her that “goats don’t wear pearls”. They encourage her to be who she wants to be – a message that resonates with both children and adults.
Being free to explore your creative side – whether it’s fashion, art, or music – is vital to children’s intellectual development. As an advocate for children’s mental health, Fancy Goat author Jeremy Holmes has spent his career helping kids unlock their creativity, allowing them to find their voice in a world where the creative arts are becoming less and less valued. Fancy Goat is a story that reaffirms the value of letting kids be kids when it comes to creative expression, without imposing our adult biases and prejudices.
Jeremy Holmes is the founder of the children’s songwriting group The Little Ditties. The Little Ditties’ debut album won an East Coast Music Award (ECMA) for Children’s Recording of the Year in 2014. You can listen to the album at this link. And check out the Little Ditties YouTube channel – it’s filled with awesome songs for kids.
Since winning an ECMA, Jeremy has been working with schools and health care organizations in Nova Scotia to provide music therapy and songwriting workshops to children. He visits schools to engage students in collective songwriting, as well as hosts music writing workshops in his home studio. In addition to writing and recording songs for kids, Jeremy is a published author, having released a pun-filled coloring book about reindeer (Pun Pun Rudolph) just last year.
Justin Gregg is Jeremy’s co-conspirator, and owner of Outside the Lines Press. He has written books about science (mostly dolphin science) for kids (22 Fantastical Facts about Dolphins) and adults (Are Dolphins Really Smart?). This is his first book about goats.