About the Book
Title: A Moat is Not a Goat: Poems for Clever Little Girls * Author: Elsa Takaoka * Illustrator: Fanny Liem * Publication Date: November 27, 2014 * Publisher: Independent * Pages: 32 * Recommended Age: 4 to 8
Summary (Amazon): This is a collection on 13 beautifully illustrated poems about sweet and charming everyday experiences, especially written for little girls. This book will teach, inspire and empower little precocious lassies, opening their hearts and minds to the delightful world of imagination.
*** FREE DOWNLOAD OF PAPER DOLLS! ***
You can download three adorable pdfs of paper dolls created by illustrator Fanny Liem based on A Moat is Not a Goat. Just click on the thumbnail below to take you to the author’s site!
My Thoughts: A Moat is Not a Goat is a collection of 13 poems celebrating all that is wonderful about little girls. For those of you with daughters, you will recognize your little girl in one or more of these poems. Perhaps you will recognize the brave little pirate girl who, donning a crown, pink gown, and a glittery cape, heads off on the high seas seeking adventure by writing her own stories (“True Treasure”). Or perhaps, your little girl is like the one who maybe cut her own bangs (or fringe) a bit too short (“Snippety-Snip”). Or perhaps your little girl has a vast imagination and wishes to explore far-off kingdoms, deep oceans, or places where dinosaurs roam through coloring with crayons (“Happiness”).
The messages hidden within these short poems vary depending on the theme of the poem, but they all have one thing in common: they all have the potential to empower little girls. For example, the last line in the poem Happiness states “Happiness is knowing that all toys are both for girls and boys”. In Move over, Miss Muffet, Little Miss Wafer learns from Miss Muffet’s experience and keeps herself safe from a snake by climbing into a hammock. The walk-away lesson at the end of the poem is “For where there is a plan, there is a way!”.
My favorite poem is Sniffle, Sniffle which reminded me of Shel Silverstein’s poem “Sick” (which I happen to have recited in elementary school at a poetry competition). In this poem, the little girl, staying home from school, is hoping to read, watch TV, eat ice cream and otherwise play on her “day off”, but she is disappointed when “Mom made me stay in bed all day.” That’s a lesson for PARENTS!
The illustrations in A Moat is Not a Goat are magnificent! I absolutely loved them! The illustrations all feature the most adorable little girls representing cultural diversity as well as diversity in settings. I also like that the girls were sometimes dressed up in “girlie” clothes (i.e., dresses) featuring colors that you would typically associate with girls (i.e., pink); but some of the girls were dressed in pants or overalls in more gender-neutral colors. In this way, girls can know that it is ok if they want to dress up in “little girl” clothes, but they can also choose to dress in more gender-neutral or “boy clothes” if they prefer. The only thing I would say is that all the girls were depicted with at least shoulder length hair. It would have been great to include shorter hairstyles as well.
My Bottom Line: A Moat is Not a Goat is a wonderful collection of short poems (varied length) celebrating little girls! Each poem features culturally diverse little girls in a variety of circumstances all centered around the message of empowerment. The accompanying illustrations are absolutely gorgeous. I highly recommend this wonderful collection of short poems to teachers, librarians, and parents to read to children. While girls are the obvious target, I do think the book would make a great discussion starter exploring gender stereotypes in a classroom setting. Ages 4 to 8.
* I purchased a Kindle version of this book from Amazon. All opinions expressed in this review represent my honest opinions about the book. The author is participating in our book promotion services.*
More Buzz About the Book
“A Moat is not a Goat – Poems for Clever Little Girls” follows Elsa’s interesting writing style of letting the reader have loads of fun, solving fiendish clues and reading aloud rhymes that trip off the tongue with ease.” ~ Read it Daddy!
“Each story is told as a poem and takes the reader on a magical journey through a pony car wash, a snow scene, and a strange world deep under the ocean. There’s a visit to the home of the five sisters, a chance to meet a pink-gowned female pirate, and find out how Miss Wafer saves her pie and tea from a snake. Learn about happiness and making up after a squabble, and how losing a tooth isn’t a disaster. What happens when you snip a lock of hair, and how a day in bed with a cold isn’t all it was planned to be.” ~ Reviewed by Jane Finch for Readers’ Favorite
“Cute rhyming book with beautiful illustrations. I recommend it for bedtime stories. Definitely worth it.” ~ 5 Star Review, celestial, Amazon
“This book is full of clever poems that little girls will love. Everything from dreaming about becoming a pirate or a princess to fighting with your siblings is in here. Little girls will be able to relate to every page. The illustrations by Fanny Liem are SUPER adorable to boot!” ~ 5 Star Review, Teddy O., Amazon
“I am a preschool teacher and I am always looking for books that will amaze and excite my students. I think they will love this book.” ~ 5 Star Review, Darla W., Amazon
Message From The Author: Elsa Takaoka
On the first day of National Poetry Month in April of 2014, I set the goal of writing a poem a day. My little girls and I would sit at the kitchen table – my five year-old doodled and my one year-old scribbled while Mommy wrote. As I struggled to find inspiration, I would occasionally glance at my eldest girl, who has been a doodling machine since the age of two and will often draw pictures for hours. Her doodles contained many of her favorite things: twins and mermaids, princesses and pets. But on closer inspection, they also contained stories of brave and bold little girls -girls with real feelings who fought, made-up, cried and got angry. These girls sailed ships, fought beasts and were pirates. These girls were tender and caring, who doodled and read. Her art contained REAL little girls- imaginative, clever and able to do anything they set their minds to. My hope is that I was able to crawl into the mind of a child and bottle up even a bit of the innocent yet powerful confidence of clever little girls everywhere.
About the Illustrator: Fanny Liem
Fanny Liem is a freelance artist from Jakarta, Indonesia who became captivated with art at a very young age. She credits her talented father for passing on the love of artistic creation. Driven by grit and passion, Fanny learned about digital art on her own, redefining her hobby of drawing to budding career in children’s illustrations. Fanny also taps her feet while enjoying American Country music.
For more information, please visit https://www.behance.net/fannywen
* Book Blast Giveaway *
Prize: One winner will receive a $25 Amazon gift card or PayPal cash prize (winner’s choice)
Contest ends: December 30, 11:59 pm, 2014
How to enter: Please enter using the Rafflecopter widget below.
Terms and Conditions: NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. A winner will be randomly drawn through the Rafflecopter widget and will be contacted by email within 48 hours after the giveaway ends. The winner will then have 72 hours to respond. If the winner does not respond within 72 hours, a new draw will take place for a new winner. Odds of winning will vary depending on the number of eligible entries received. This contest is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook. This giveaway is sponsored by the author Elsa Takaoka and is hosted and managed by Renee from Mother Daughter Book Reviews. If you have any additional questions – feel free to send an email to Renee(at)MotherDaughterBookReviews(dot)com.