The grumpy goat
Creating a safe and friendly environment for a new child coming into a family is not any different than welcoming an animal to be part of your children’s life but in this case, there is an underlying motive. Aspen and her sister Sycamore live on a lovely Maple Street with Mama and Mee.
The Blackberry bushes are huge and they have to find get them down and the solution you won’t believe. Animals might be the answer but will Mama give in as they meet Gary the grumpy goat. Mama us a firefighter and so is Mee. Add an adorable pig named Pezi Pot Belly the third and the fun is just beginning. What’s really original is how the author intertwined the story and dance movements that mimic the action in the story. You can pretend to steer a truck into a narrow driveway or point a finger like Aspen.
Gary was sullen and sat in the farthest corner of the yard away from the blackberries and never touched one. Problem what to do? How about a friend which is how we meet the pig. You can pretend to be Gary and pretend to make a phone call as the pig arrives and the kids are thrilled but what about Gary? He stayed away, ignored the pig even though the pug followed him everywhere. You can use your dance movements to walk sideways as if leading a pig around the yard while you keep your eyes on the animal. Laugh like the kids in the book and watch how Pezi follows Gary and never gives up hoping he will pay her some attention. The themes of this story relate to solving problems, family values, love, animal care, and kindness to them and dance-it-out movements that mirror the actions in the plot for children and parents to try and enjoy together.
The colorful illustrations help younger readers understand the story and creates a perfect picture to help them understand the characters are, actions, and moods portrayed of both. Visualizations are great so they can see the goat and the other animals in action. If you are into ballet movements the author shares many like balance, weight shift, shoes, falling and counting movements. For anyone into dance these skills are paramount for teachers of physical education, parents, and young children she’s 5-7 and has colorful and diverse characters easily relatable to all ages.
Problems arose but will the children want to give back the animals? Never! They loved tossing snacks to Pezi and Gary hoping to entice him to taste. How about a backyard picnic suggested Sycamore? Mama is a fun character and surprises the children with a llama only for a short time. Try out the llama time bend forward and touch your hands to the floor movements on page 27 and more. The illustration on page 28 brings it to life.
The llama was friendly and they named her Lulu she ate a few blackberries. Lulu wanted to be okay with Pezi and Gary but Pezi chased her away. Watch what Lulu does to both of them. Gary was smart and Aspen found him smack dab in the middle of the yard shading his eyes. Wait until you see what he does and how Aspen reacts. Just why did Gary only stay in certain spots? Where did he prefer? How did they resolve the problem and follow the dance-it-out movements on page 33 to help the kids with the project? Did Gary ever hear the BlackBerries? Did he become a happy Goat? Check out the pictures of him on pages 34-35 to see what the hilarious solution and the surprise ending is. The picture on page 36 is priceless.
The Sap family is fun and the children are respectful, kind to the animals, creative, and teach children the importance of kindness, friendship, understanding, dealing with differences, and family values. The author’s creative way of incorporating the dance-it-out movements enhances the book in many ways enabling children to become part of the story creatively.
Once again author and ballerina Konora created a five-star book. The cover says it all and the fun dance movements brings it to life. Told in three different voices narrative, pictures or illustrations and movements to encourage children to act out the story in an art form like ballet, this is a great resource for dance teachers, parents, and children.
Fran Lewis just reviews
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