"Once Upon a Goat"

There’s a lot to chew on in “Once Upon a Goat,” by Dan Richards — just ask the main character, a sweet 4-footer with nubs for horns and the sweetest expression you’ve ever seen. Kids will get a kick out of this fun read. A bite out of the page greets them when they open the book, the culprit chewing away on the missing piece of paper.

The story begins with a grand spread showing a glum king and queen standing by their stately castle — around them life springs forth, but the royal pair long for a baby of their own. As any fairy tale fan knows, all you’ve got to do is wish for something and a fairy godmother will appear. Presto! The king and queen get their hearts’ desire, well almost . . .

They open the castle door and find a tiny goat sitting on the welcome rug. “I wanted a baby,” cried the queen.

“It’s my fault, wailed the king. “I said any kid would do. But I never meant — this.”

So begins a series of hilarious antics, as the human parents and the barnyard beaut adjust to one other’s lifestyles. Colorful, action-filled illustrations by Eric Barclay detail the daily disasters at the castle in a book that’s sure to be requested as a read aloud again and again. Preschool to second grade.