Billy the Silly Goat

There are many kinds of goats, including Spanish goats, and mountain goats. Then, there is Billy. Seven and five-year-olds, Kyler and Caysen Drab created the story, helped edit and illustrate the backgrounds for Billy’s mini adventure as he discovers that sometimes it’s easier to just ask for help.

Some illustrations from ‘Billy the Silly Goat’

What’s the big deal with asking for help?

I certainly wasn’t shy when I asked Kyler and Caysen for help coming up with a story for Billy the Silly Goat.

The two immediately started working through a story and coincidentally cracking themselves up with some outlandish ideas. It was a fun time and I had to reign them in here and there, but the overall story is something that they came up with. While I drew Billy and the other characters, the background illustrations are theirs. I continued to be impressed as they edited some of the actual text and made suggestions on the story flow. They also contributed by coloring the background for the cover and adding their own versions of Billy the Silly Goat which we’ve included in the book.

We started the story late last year, but the holidays and spring sports slowed progress a bit. Out of the blue one day, while picking up Caysen, his teacher handed me three pages of paper that Caysen had written out the story of Billy the Silly Goat and had drawn some pictures at the top. Not only was it true to the exact story (I was blown away that he remembered all the details – he is only 5), but I loved the perspective of his drawings.

One confession: I made some final edits before submitting the book for print because I caught something I didn’t think sounded right and hurt the progression of the story. To my surprise, Kyler called me out on it when he saw the final product. Which is to say, simply awesome, as it reminded me of how much they were into the story.

On a final note with a bit of sappiness, is that this has been a deeply rewarding experience and I am extremely grateful to have had the opportunity to share the process of creating this book with my handsome, smart, funny, and amazing sons. I can’t wait to look back at this in 5, 10, or hopefully 20 years.