What could be more exasperating for a little girl than a pet goat that refuses to do average goat things (like help with her chores) because he has a taste for the finer things in life? In the children’s book Fancy Goat co-written by Jeremy Holmes and Justin Gregg and illustrated by Holmes with beautiful watercolour by Ranke de Vries, one little girl’s imagination sets the stage for a dozen astonishing feats of high-class hijinks and fancy fun.
Dressing her goat in everything from a well-polished monocle, to a top hat and pearls, the animal is admonished repeatedly for his extravagant and lavish lifestyle. Partial to private massages, theatre tickets, plane rides and trips to Paris–it’s clear that the personality she bestows on her favourite pet is a wonderful and much needed creative outlet for her on a rural farm.
Holmes, who is the founder of the ECMA-winning children’s songwriting group The Little Ditties, hosts music therapy and song writing workshops that help children unleash their creativity with confidence in a world that continues to devalue the arts as a whole. In Fancy Goat the little girl is allowed to spin yarns without the criticism of unimaginative adults–instead her equally fancy grandfather appears at the end of the story just as willing to indulge her with a feather boa and tiara for high tea. Imagination in this story is paramount.
Fancy Goat is a silly, fun-filled story with vibrantly coloured comedic pictures that emphasize both the goat’s actual mischievous nature and, in response to it, the eye-popping magic of life and friends through a child’s wondrous eyes.
Even though we all know this particular goat really isn’t that fancy, it’s not a stretch page-by-page to imagine under the right circumstances and with the right kind of kid, he could be.
Jeremy Holmes and Justin Gregg
Outside the Lines Press