Polly and Her Duck Costume: The True Story of a Little Blind Rescue Goat by Leanne Lauricella, illustrated by Jill Howarth

Polly and Her Duck Costume by Leanne Lauricella, 
with Saskia Lacey, 
illustrated by Jill Howarth
Review Copy from Walter Foster Jr. Books
Before I tell you about Polly, it's important to know that Goats of Anarchy is a registered charity dedicated to rescuing and rehabilitating baby goats with special needs, typically from abuse or abandonment. Author Leanne Lauricella, a vegan and animal rights activist, is the "goat mama" and the curator of the @GoatsofAnarchy Instagram feed. In 2016, Polly was born to a mother who rejected her due to her blindness. Lauricella rescued Polly when she was a few days old and worked tirelessly to care for the malnourished and underweight goat who could not be left alone. Leanne discovered that wrapping Polly in blankets eased her separation anxiety, but the blankets fell off whenever she moved. Leanne's solution? A cuddly duck costume that wouldn't fall off!
Polly's story, told in the pages of this picture book has sweetly retro illustrations that remind me of a classic Little Golden Book. Polly's disabilities and anxieties are explained in a way kids will understand. Polly could, "hear the birds sing and smell the crisp, spring air. But she could not see the blue sky or its clouds." But, more than anything, "Polly longed to be loved. She sometimes went hungry and was very lonely." Polly gets a new (human) mom and a new home, a cozy bed and blankets, but she still wants her mom! But, when mom puts something "warm and fuzzy and so comfortable" on her, she curls up o the couch and falls right to sleep.
Wearing her new duck costume (even if she doesn't know what a duck is...) Polly doesn't "worry about a single thing. All was right with the world." Then, Pippa arrived. A rescue goat with injured legs. Polly gave her duck costume to Pippa (she needed a bigger one) even though Pippa didn't need it to feel safe. The two became fast friends, and even played together, something Polly had never done before. In fact, Polly even began to feel comfortable without her duck costume!

Polly and Her Duck Costume contains five pages of back matter, with Lauricella telling her - and Polly's - story, adding details not in the book. And yes, she really did take Polly to the story and pop her in a shopping cart. And, Polly and Pippa even have a new friend - Pepper, a partially blind goat who joined the family!

More books about the amazing goats (and other animals) on the Goats of Anarchy farm!

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