Review Detail

A Blue Ribbon Book
Overall rating
 
4.5
Plot/Characters/Writing Style
 
4.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
 
5.0
Dan Yaccarino’s newest picture book, Billy and Goat at the State Fair, is a fun romp through the ins and outs of a state fair. The colorful illustrations and the maze-like layout make this book a great read-aloud for kids who are exploring colors and cognitive skills. In addition to engaging illustrations, the layout of the words on the page will ensure that kids won’t lose interest with unnecessary words.

In addition to having a good structure in terms of story and format, this book also provides lots of character exploration - especially when it deals with Billy's anxiety. Billy wants to stay at home where it’s safe and comfortable, Goat wants to go and explore the world. Billy agrees to take Goat to the state fair to enter the Best Goat Contest, but the two have different expectations of how to have fun in crowded spaces. When Goat takes off alone, Billy has to face his fears of the unknown in order to find his best friend. Through mazes, rides, and crowds, Billy is able to have fun alongside Goat and learn how to manage his anxieties.

Both Billy and Goat learn that sometimes having an adventure is more important than winning first place. I appreciate that Billy and Goat are perfectly content with their shared experiences. Billy and Goat realize that deep down, someone else cannot define their worth, and that is a powerful message to fit into a picture book. The illustrations, story, and character growth make this book a blue ribbon winner!
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