Cover image for Catch that goat!
Catch that goat!
Alakija, Polly.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Cambridge, MA : Barefoot Books, 2002.
Physical Description:
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 30 cm
Ayoka is put in charge of the family goat, who promptly vanishes and runs through the town's market stalls taking whatever looks tasty.
Reading Level:
AD 90 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR LG 1.1 0.5 63319.
Geographic Term:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PIC. BK. Juvenile Fiction Central Closed Stacks
PIC. BK. Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
PIC. BK. Juvenile Fiction Picture Books

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"Oni breadi, have you seen my goat?" "No, Ayoka. But one of my loaves of bread is missing. I can only see nine." Ayoka has been left in charge of the family goat - but within minutes it has vanished. As Ayoka searches the streets of her town she starts to realise just how much trouble the runaway is creating among the market stalls. One thing after another has disappeared and when Ayoka finally catches up with the goat she finds more than she had bargained for.

Reviews 2

Publisher's Weekly Review

A busy Nigerian street market is the setting for this sunny debut. While her mother is out, Ayoka is supposed to "look after the goat." Immediately, her charge escapes to the market, where a panicked Ayoka asks a vendor, "Mama Kudi, have you seen my goat?" "No, Ayoka," she replies. "But one of my boli [bananas] is missing. I can only see ten." At the page's edge, only the hind legs of the goat are visible as they kick over a basket of spoons. In the next spread, a loaf of bread goes missing: "I can see only nine!" says the vendor (the goat's hind hooves upset a plate of tomatoes). This pattern continues in each spread in a countdown to zero. Finally, her mother returns and points out the goat wearing all of the missing items. Young children should relish the predictable text, the utterly silly climax and the fun of spotting clues left by the mischievous pet. Alakija's energetic illustrations, in grayed-down jewel tones, ripple with the texture of the paper underneath. In one scene, three women grind food at the "Mama Put Cool Spot," where they serve such exotic dishes as cow-leg pepper soup, egusi and dodo. That exoticism, coupled with the cheery color, pattern and vitality of the bustling market, offers children an enlightening excursion far removed from their everyday trips to the supermarket. Ages 4-7. (July) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Review

PreS-Gr 2-A Nigerian marketplace is the backdrop for this lively chase after a mischievous goat with a penchant for pilfering. When Ayoka's mother goes out, she instructs her daughter to "Look after the goat!" The mayhem begins immediately, as the animal takes off and Ayoka runs through the market looking for it. The endpapers set the mood with their bold designs of African textiles. The illustrations are wonderfully rendered in mixed media on tan watercolor paper that is often left exposed; its texture also adds depth to the overall effect. The market scenes are rich with variety-anything can be found among the stalls and vendors, from fruits, vegetables, and bread to cleaning supplies, a hot meal, and a hairdresser. The text is presented in speech bubbles that allow the art to dominate the two-page-spread format. A counting element is woven into the story as the goat's items mount up. In the end, Ayoka finds her goat and the booty with it. The book works well on many levels, such as for storytime, counting, and cultural exploration, and would be a welcome addition to most collections.-Genevieve Gallagher, Orange County Public Library, VA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.