________________ CM . . . . Volume XXI Number 31. . . .April 17, 2015


Gertrude at the Beach.

Starr Dobson. Art by Dayle Dodwell.
Halifax, NS: Nimbus, 2014.
32 pp., hardcover & ePDF, $19.95 (hc.), $8.99 (ePDF).
ISBN 978-1-77108-171-9 (hc.), ISBN 978-1-77108-2172-6 (ePDF).

Preschool-grade 3 / Ages 4-8.

Review by Kristen Ferguson.

*** /4



As a country goat, Gertrude is used to tall trees, green grass, and dirt roads, so we can’t wait to see what she thinks of the hot sand, sea creatures, and salty ocean. Mom just hopes she won’t cause too much trouble.


internal artGertrude the goat is back in Gertrude at the Beach, a picture book by CTV personality Starr Dobson, illustrated by Dayle Dodwell. In this sequel to My Goat Gertrude, Starr, her family, the family dog, and Gertrude all leave the country to spend the summer at a cottage by the ocean While Starr’s mom hopes that Gertrude won’t cause too much trouble, Gertrude gets into shenanigans almost immediately, playing in boats and eating a jellyfish.

When we are just about finished our sandcastle, I glance over to check on Gertrude. All I see is an empty spot on the towel.

“Gertrude!” I call. “Where are you?”

While it appears that Gertrude is causing trouble yet again, Gertrude the goat actually saves the day.

internal art      Gertrude at the Beach is a delightful story for young readers. The plot is pleasantly more complex than expected, and there are a number of events and problems in the book. The book is colourfully and vibrantly illustrated by Dayle Dodwell in what appears to be watercolour and pencil. My one criticism of the book is that there is no explanation as to why Starr’s family has a pet goat. If the reader were not familiar with Dobson’s first book, the reason why a family would have a goat as a pet would be puzzling.

      Gertrude at the Beach is an interesting and fun summertime picture book and is a worthy purchase for home, school, and public libraries. As a bonus, a portion of proceeds of the book sales is donated to the Mental Health Foundation of Nova Scotia.


Dr. Kristen Ferguson teaches literacy education at the Schulich School of Education at Nipissing University in North Bay, ON.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

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