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Sergeant Billy: The True Story of the Goat Who Went to War
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Sergeant Billy: The True Story of the Goat Who Went to War

4.30  ·  Rating details ·  77 ratings  ·  41 reviews
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.

Billy . . .
* Trained with the soldiers
* Was smuggled across the ocean
* Got snuck into the frontlines in a
Hardcover, 40 pages
Published September 17th 2019 by Tundra Books (NY)
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Average rating 4.30  · 
Rating details
 ·  77 ratings  ·  41 reviews

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Jon Nakapalau
Heartwarming story about Sgt. Billy who was a mascot for Canadian soldiers in WW I.
Literary Soirée
As soon as I saw that cover and title, I knew I wanted to read SERGEANT BILLY, and I’m so glad I did!

This is an utterly charming real life story about a goat’s adventures in the War to End All Wars. The illustrations are so heart-tugging as is the story, which is both poignant and funny.

Such a fun way to learn history, with truths revealed through the tale of a creature that got trench foot, saved soldiers by head-butting them away from a deadly shell, was court
La Coccinelle
I'd never heard the story of Sergeant Billy before! It makes for quite a cute picture book.

Billy was a goat who was borrowed from a little girl named Daisy to be a mascot for the Fifth Canadian Battalion during World War I. He was smuggled to England, and eventually to France, where he kept morale up and even saved some lives (for which he was awarded the Mons Star). At the end of the war, as promised, he was returned to Daisy by the soldiers and lived out the rest of his life.

This is a nice
Dec 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is a beautiful story of an actual goat who went to war. Billy is sweet, understand the suffering of the men who surround him, and provides comfort and good moments to them. Great way to talk about war to young kids.

I received this copy in an Early Reviewers Giveaway in LibraryThing.
Until this book, I had never heard of Sergeant Billy! I think this is a good springboard for introducing the subject of WWI to elementary school children. The old-fashioned illustrations add to the feel of the story and in the back is more information on war animals and the important part they played in the health and well-being of the soldiers. An incredible true story worth reading!

This honest and unbiased review is based upon a complimentary copy provided by the publisher.
Nov 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
It's been a long time since I read any historical non-fiction (I blame post grad school burnout), but I couldn't resist picking up this picture book which explores the true story of Sgt. Billy, the goat who went to war. I first crossed paths with Sgt. Billy when I was researching the stories of Saskatchewan soldiers during World War I for a video series, and the team and I couldn't help but be charmed by this unique story. Clearly we were not the only ones charmed by Sgt. Billy, as he is a ...more
Alex  Baugh
Sep 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
We are pretty familiar with the story about the bear cub named Winnie who was adopted by a lieutenant in WWI and whose story became Winnie-the-Pooh. And then there's Stubby, a stray dog who became the mascot of the 26th Infantry Division, went to war and became a decorated hero, as did Rags, a Parisian mongrel adopted by radio operator James Donovan. But did you know there was also a goat who was borrowed by some Canadian soldiers from a little girl named Daisy in Saskatchewan when their train ...more
Nov 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
A great book for teaching children about World War I and the difficulties soldiers faced during that time... a true story with a Saskatchewan connection! Beautifully illustrated and a great read aloud choice for young children to explain war.
Lauren Paletta
Sep 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
What a wonderful story! I read large amount of WWII history and fiction, so this book immediately caught my eye. It's a true story about a goat that went to war; he kept up morale and even saved some of the men on the front lines. Billy is a courageous goat that made history! Highly recommend this read, especially if your children are interested in war books and you don't want to get into the blood and gore of war.
Nov 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Absolutely adorable! Readers follow Billy from his home on a farm in Canada to the front lines of World War I. His exploits are both true and truly extraordinary! The repetition is just enough to feel like oral storytelling. The pictures are also super cute! Young readers can enjoy Billy’s adventure without the gruesome realities of the trenches.
Dec 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A fascinating and adorable story of a goat that served in World War 1. Heart warming illustrations! Fantastic. I would give it more stars if I could.
Laurie Hnatiuk
Nov 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Here is your must have book for Remembrance Day for primary teachers, especially those of us in Saskatchewan.
Based on a true story, this is the tale of how a goat from Broadview Saskatchewan, becomes part of the Fifth Canadian Battalion platoon during World War I. A goat is befriended and borrowed from a small girl on a farm as a group of men go off to train to become soldiers. As the men train, the bond between the goat who is now known as Private Billy grows and the platoon decides that Billy
Rebecca Caufman
Nov 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
Who knew? Fun to pair with Finding Winnie. There a videos of the stuffed goat to show with this book too.
Ren HappilyBuriedInBooks
Jun 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
Sergeant Billy is the true story of a girl named Daisy’s pet goat from Saskatchewan who became a decorated hero with the Canadian Expeditionary Forces in WWI before returning home to Daisy.

As author Mireille Messier writes, Bill’s early life was spent helping Daisy by pulling carts. But in 1914, his life changed. When soldiers spotted the girl with her goat on a train station platform, they asked for permission to take the goat to their training camp. She agreed under the condition that they
Mary-Esther Lee
Nov 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
The most cheerful war story that you will ever read!
Amanda Sanders
Oct 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Animals can help with stress, anxiety and depression. Because of that, this story about a billy goat joining a battalion and going off to war makes perfect sense. Some soldiers from Canada were passing a farm on a train and met a girl with a goat. They asked if they could bring her with them and return the goat when they got back from war. That is how Billy's adventure began. It is a fantastic story based on real events. I love the illustrations and the details about camp life. The only thing I ...more
Andrea Johnston
Jul 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Are you familiar with the meme featuring Fry from Futurama, thrusting a handful of dollar bills forward, yelling "Shut up and take my money!"? That meme perfectly encapsulates my feelings about this book. READ THIS BOOK!

And if my abrasive enthusiasm isn't enough to convince you, here are some more reasons to drop everything and get this work:

*It's Canadian!
*It's a wonderful introduction to a fairly unknown story about WWI for ALL audiences. I had no idea there was a goat who served in the
Wayne McCoy
Sep 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
'Sergeant Billy: The True Story of the Goat Who Went to War' by Mireille Messier with illustrations by Kass Reich is a picture book that shows how often truth is stranger than fiction.

A group of Canadian soldiers on their way to World War I, made a stop in a prairie town. They find a young girl named Daisy with a goat, and they ask if they can take the goat with them. She makes them promise to bring the goat back unharmed.

The goat becomes a kind of mascot and good luck charm. At one point the
Sep 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Two thumbs up for Sergeant Billy by Mireille Messier. A quick reading account of a true mascot goat during WWI is a pleasing tale for young and old. From leaving Daisy to returning home my grandchildren and I found this to be a delight.

The fact that it is a true story with photographs at the end made this so astounding. We loved the flow of the text along with the pattern of repletion within to be fun to read aloud. By the end we were all saying together, “And that’s how Billy…”

Melanie Dulaney
Like last year’s Sergeant Reckless, Sergeant Billy tells the true story of a WWII mascot to a battalion of soldiers. Billy the goat is borrowed from a young prairie girl and smuggled to the trenches of England and France. The story is simple and straight forward and the illustrations support the text and add to the humor of some of the soldiers’ experiences with Billy. Students in grades 3-5 who enjoy stories about animals and historical accounts of unusual events during war are the target ...more
Jul 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Billy, the goat, met a group of Canadian soldiers while they were preparing to go fight in World War 1, in France. Billy’s owner, Daisy, agreed to let the soldiers borrow him. The colonel didn’t want Billy to go to France, but the soldiers snuck him in a crate on the ship. He was a great encouragement and help to the soldiers throughout the war.

This book is based on a true story. Some basic information about the real Daisy and Billy are included in the back along with a couple of photographs.
Jun 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
What a sweet story! I knew dogs and horses were used in wars, even birds, but a billy goat? Who knew! Young kids will enjoy reading about this special goat's adventures in WW1. I am happy to report he made it home safely to Canada and his girl Daisy! Ok, that was a spoiler, but I really don't think kids are reading these reviews and adults might want to know before purchasing the book for their littles. The war was depressing enough without a goat getting maimed. The illustrations are wonderful ...more
Leah Horton
Jun 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This was a fascinating story. Leave it up to Canadians to adopt a pet goat for the war. (I mean this as an absolutely loving compliment) the fact that the soldiers took Sergeant Billy from a farm in Saskatchewan to the front lines of WWI is very interesting.

It was really great how we got to learn a bit about the war in a kid friendly sort of way. Travelling from Canada, to the front lines and back again.

I would absolutely recommend this book to anyone who’s child is interested in history, or to
Jul 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
What a wonderful true life story of Billy the goat. He was borrowed from a little girl, when to World War One, and just like promised, returned to the little girl years later. He was a mascot, a helping hand, and even sometimes a superhero. Stories like this need to be told. The author did an amazing job, and so did the illustrator. I love that they included real life pictures of Billy at the end. Three cheers for this war hero goat.
Sep 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
My boyfriend loves goats and I love history, so I knew I'd have to read this. The illustrations were absolutely delightful. Billy's character shone through in every one, and you could see how the soldiers would fall in love with him. The story itself (especially with the repeated element of "And that's how Billy [xyz]") was fresh and engaging. Highly recommended!

I received a digital ARC from the publisher via Netgalley.
Amber Webb
Jul 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
Sergeant Billy was a wonderful historical fiction picture book that taught me something new. I was excited to share it with students and hear what they thought about the goat and his travels. The conversations about the goat's travels, the original owner and the feelings of the soldiers will lead to a greater understanding of how war impacts lives. I enjoyed the book and think it would be good for upper elementary students.
Christina Potter Bieloh
Aug 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
Sergeant Billy is an inspiring true story. This simple country goat accompanied a group of soldiers all the way to France in the war. He significantly boosted the morale of the soldiers, and he even made his own contributions in battle.

I'd love to share this story with my students. I think they would thoroughly enjoy learning about Sergeant Billy.

Thanks to NetGalley for the Advanced Reading Copy!

#netgalley #sergeantbilly
Mandi Murphy
Aug 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books, 2019, arc
Big fan of books that teach kids about history and this one is fascinating and fun. I didn't know anything about Sergeant Billy so it was really cool to learn about such a brave, affection little goat. And the way it was written is so cute. Probably most appropriate for elementary aged kids, but I read it to my 3.5 year old and she enjoyed it. Highly recommend this title.
Elizabeth Seibel
Jun 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Thank you #netgalley for giving me a copy of #SergeantBilly to review. I always enjoy reading true stories that you wouldn't think are true. Sergeant Billy is a goat that went to war and helped his soldiers. War and animals are two things my students love so I know they will enjoy this book. I can't wait until September for this book.
Jul 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
I received an arc of this book from netgalley in exchange for a honest review.

I really really liked this one! It was engaging, and I wanted to read it all over again. The illustrations are charming and it was just a really cool story. Well worth reading!
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