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Penguin Random House Canada Young Readers Fall 2019

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Sergeant Billy
The True Story of the Goat Who Went to War
By (author): Mireille Messier Illustrated by: Kass Reich
9780735264427 Hardcover English Juvenile: Age (years) from 4 - 8, Grade (US) from P - 3 JUVENILE FICTION / Historical / Military & Wars Sep 17, 2019
$21.99 CAD
Active 9 x 11.25 x 0.42 in 40 pages FULL COLOUR THROUGHOUT Tundra Books
A delightful tale inspired by the true story of a brave goat war hero. Perfect for fans of Finding Winnie and Rescue and Jessica.

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.


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!

TRUE STORY: A well-researched and incredible story of an irascible goat and his daring capers.

ADORABLE ILLUSTRATIONS: Kass Reich of Megabat fame has created yet another character who will absolutely steal hearts everywhere.

NON-FICTION INFORMATION: A spread at the back fills in the historical details.

SENSITIVE PORTRAYAL OF WAR: The book gives a real look at the horrible conditions and sadness the soldiers are experiencing while never being heavy-handed or scary.


GOATS! From goat yoga to baby goats in pajamas to goats eating poison ivy in Prospect Park, goats are everywhere—and this goat is the cutest of them all.

HUMOR: While being sensitive to the subject matter, this true story is still quite funny—Billy actually did eat important documents and get arrested for treason.

MIREILLE MESSIER is a Montreal-born, Ottawa-raised and now Toronto-based author, freelance writer and voice-over artist. She has published over twenty children’s books—including The Branch, which was nominated for a Governor General’s Award—several articles for youth magazines and has collaborated in the production of many family programs and interactive apps for CBC, TVO/TFO and Teletoon. Mireille enjoys reading graphic novels, swing music and, of course, goats.

Author Residence: Toronto

Author Hometown: Montreal

KASS REICH was born in Montreal, Quebec. She works as an artist and educator and has spent the majority of the last decade traveling and living abroad. She now finds herself back in Canada, but this time in Toronto. Kass loves illustrating books for all ages, including Megabat, Carson Crosses Canada, Hamsters Holding Hands and Dr. Coo and the Pigeon Protest. This is her first book about a goat.

Illustrator Residence: Toronto

Illustrator Hometown: Montreal

Author Website:

Author Social Media:

PRAISE FOR Megabat by Anna Humphrey and Kass Reich:

“The miscommunications between humans and a fruit bat are ridiculous yet funny, and Reich’s soft illustrations add further, gentle humor…. A charming tale.”—Kirkus Reviews

“Megabat is a fast-paced novel that will have young readers wanting more…. [A] highly engaging read with hilarious capers, engaging characters, and gorgeous illustrations…. Recommended.”—CM Magazine

“ A warm tale…augmented by amusing graphite illustrations from [Kass] Reich.”—Publishers Weekly

PRAISE FOR The Branch by Mireille Messier:

“Brimming with personality and passion, this protagonist is a joy to know.”—Kirkus Reviews, Starred Review

“…a gentle reminder that keeping an open mind can help turn problems into opportunities.”—Publishers Weekly

“A quiet but powerful tale supported by a strong blend of words and pictures.”—School Library Journal

“…a small but satisfying story of intergenerational friendship, cooperation, creativity, and the labor that goes into creating something worthwhile.”—The Horn Book Magazine

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