Sergeant Billy: The True Story of the Goat Who Went to War

A delightful tale inspired by the true story of a brave goat war hero.

During World War I, a goat named Billy was adopted by a platoon of soldiers and made his way across the ocean to be part of the war effort.

Billy . . .

  • Trained with the soldiers
  • Was smuggled across the ocean
  • Got snuck into the frontlines in a box of oranges
  • Ate some secret documents and was arrested for treason
  • Got trench foot
  • Head-butted soldiers into a trench and saved them from a shell
  • Came back home a decorated war hero!

This charming true story follows Sergeant Billy from his small prairie town to the trenches of World War I and back, through harrowing moments, sad moments, moments of camaraderie and moments of celebration. This unforgettable goat and the platoon that loved him will capture your heart!

Themes: military, world war I, service animal, true story, biography, historical

Sergeant Billy: The True Story of the Goat who Went to War
Tundra Books/Penduin Random House, Fall 2019
Story by Mireille Messier
Illustrations by Kass Reich
40 pages
4-10 years old
ISBN : 9-780-73526-442-7
Jacketed hadcover
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  • Click this link to download a French Activity Sheet – Fiche d’activités Sergent Billy


“Messier’s smooth, well-paced text and Reich’s muted gouache illustrations in warlike tones of olive and brown well convey the poignancy and humor of the story.” – KIRKUS REVIEW

“Mireille Messier takes young readers beyond the mud and blood of World War I with her rollicking humanizing tale of a goat and the soldiers who cared for it.” – Canadian Material Review, Highly recommended

“Messier and Reich deserve a medal for their ambitious work.” – Imaginary Elevators