This is the delightful tale of a brave war hero… who was a goat!
During World War I, a goat named Billy was adopted by a platoon of soldiers and became their loyal mascot.
Billy . . .
- Trained with the soldiers
- Was smuggled across the ocean
- Got snuck into the frontlines in a crate of oranges
- Ate some secret documents and was imprisoned for treason
- Got trench foot
- Head-butted soldiers into a trench, saving their lives
- Was promoted to the rank of sergeant and came back home a decorated war hero!
This charming true story follows Sergeant Billy from his small prairie town in Saskatchewan to the trenches of World War I and back, through harrowing moments but also moments of camaraderie and 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
Tundra Books/Penduin Random House, Fall 2019
Story by Mireille Messier
Illustrations by Kass Reich
4-10 years old
ISBN : 9-780-73526-442-7
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- Click here to access the free Discussion Guide (English)
- Click this link to access a free, 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
Awards and Distinctions
Finalist, Hackmatack Awards in the English non-fiction category (2021-2022)
Winner, OLA Forest of Reading Prix Mélèze Award (French edition) (2020-2021)
Finalist, Shining Willow, Saskatchewan’s Young Readers’ Choice Award, (2021)
Winner, Rocky Mountain Book Award, Alberta’s Young Readers’ Choice Award (2020)
Winner, Comstock Read-Aloud Book Award (2020)
Winner, Christopher Award for best children’s book (2020)