Trudy by Henry Cole.

Esme’s grandfather takes her to the farm auction where she is going to pick out an animal to take home.  Her grandmother is allergic to feathers, so the ducks, roosters and pigeons are out.  The pigs are too stinky and the cow is too big.  Esme picks out Trudy, a goat who is being given away free at the auction.  Trudy is given a small red barn to live in with her own fenced yard with an apple tree.  Trudy goes out every morning to her favorite spot.  Until one morning when she heads out, smells the air and returns to the barn.  That day, it snowed.  This happens again and again.  Trudy returns to the barn, it snows.  Crowds begin to gather to see the weather-forecasting goat.  But then, Trudy returns to the barn and it doesn’t snow.  What could that mean?

This book has many of the same charms as Cole’s On Meadowview Street.  Cole’s illustrations once again capture a feeling, a setting, a mood.  The setting here is especially clearly done for a picture book, with the feel in each and every picture of modern but small farm life.  The book reads aloud very nicely, with touches of repetition, moments of revelation, and its own pace.  I appreciate a book that shows a child living with her grandparents as matter-of-fact and unexplained.  Just normal and factual. 

This book is a charmer.  You may have to create a goat story time just to share this one.  Oh, and who wouldn’t want to pair it with a very different but equally great goat story – Gregory the Terrible Eater by Mitchell Sharmat.