Billy and Goat at the State Fair

Billy and Goat at the State Fair
Co-Authors / Illustrators
Age Range
Release Date
June 30, 2015
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Billy and Goat are best friends, but they have different styles. Billy likes to smell the roses—Goat likes to eat them! So it’s no surprise that they have different ideas of how to enjoy the state fair. For Billy, the crowds and the noise are pretty intimidating. He’s happy to wait in the livestock pens until the best-goat contest begins. But Goat’s not one to sit when he could run. Faster than you can say butter sculpture, Goat’s out of the pen and leading Billy on a merry chase past rides, games, contests, and exhibits. When Billy finally catches up to him—on the biggest float of the parade!—he’s relieved, but also amazed. The fair is awesome! They may have missed Goat’s chance to win best in show, but for Billy it’s never been more clear—his best friend is the best goat ever!

Editor review

1 review
A Blue Ribbon Book
Overall rating
Plot/Characters/Writing Style
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
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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