Saturday, January 18, 2020

Beautiful Goats: Portraits of champion breeds

Beautiful Goats is an introduction with a short history and a gallery in honor of the noble goat. Originally published in the UK in 2014 this re-format and re-release is due out 3rd March 2020 from Quarto on their Ivy Press imprint, it's 112 pages and will be available in paperback format.

There are over 300 different breeds of goat and they have been our constant companions for thousands of years. They give us milk and cheese and other dairy products, meat, skins, and fibres as well as being used to clear land and prepare rough terrain for agricultural use. They're hardy, mostly disease resistant, intelligent, charming, and funny. This book is a tribute to everything goat. 

The authors have an accessible and informative (but not dry) style. The book has a good introduction with some history, uses, rare breeds, and a very short capsule intro to showing. The intros are followed by a gallery listing of 40 goats (some duplicate breeds, such as Saanen), with a full color detail photo, breed intro with features, uses, related breeds, size/weight, and range/origin. The picture content also helpfully includes the age and sex of the subject (including reproductive status/castration). The end of the book contains some sepia-tone photos from specific show entry winners, along with an index and solid links lists for further reading. 

Honestly the completeness of the bibliography and links are probably worth the cost of the book by themselves. Very well done. This would be a very good choice for a 4H or FFA intro to selecting and showing goats or at least doing the necessary pre-purchase research. There is no animal husbandry content included here, this is a compendium of show quality healthy beautiful goats in show condition.

A useful and appealing book and a good introduction to the conformation and looks of standard purebred goats.

Four stars.

Disclosure: I received an ARC at no cost from the author/publisher for review purposes.

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