The three billy goats Gruff

Jerry Pinkney

Book - 2017

Three billy goats must outwit the big, ugly troll that lives under the bridge they have to cross on their way up the mountain.

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Location Call Number   Status
Children's Room jE/Pinkney Due Jul 9, 2024
Picture books
New York ; Boston : Little, Brown and Company 2017.
Main Author
Jerry Pinkney (author)
First edition
Physical Description
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 25 x 29 cm
Contents unavailable.
Review by Booklist Review

*Starred Review* Pinkney's creative interpretation adds drama and a touch of morality to this well-known tale. The story at first proceeds in the familiar way. Three billy goats attempt to cross a bridge to reach the place where tasty wild grasses flourish. But a greedy troll guards the bridge, threatening to eat the billy goats. One by one, the goats trick the troll into letting them pass. But the troll meets his match in the biggest goat, and with hungry fish in the water around the bridge, he may be about to get a taste of his own medicine. Pinkney's vivid watercolors are full of texture, and large two-page spreads showcase the lush landscapes. The goats are inquisitive, energetic, and very expressive, and occasionally a two-page spread is divided to show two worlds, such as the bridge above and the troll's lair below. The third billy goat, though, is so powerful that only a fold-out page will contain him. The text provides additional energy. Sounds are sometimes magnified by enlarged or shaky font, and the troll receives his comeuppance by way of a huge SPLASH! and a smaller gulp! The author's note explains his affection for this story. He certainly assures ours with this beautiful, exciting, and memorable retelling.--Ching, Edie Copyright 2017 Booklist

From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Review by Publisher's Weekly Review

In an artist's note, Caldecott Medalist Pinkney (The Lion & the Mouse) says that he held back from retelling this famous folktale over the years because the traditional ending "confounded" him. This version and its new conclusion are worth the wait. Three skinny goats see a bridge between them and hills of lush grass. The hairy, green-skinned troll who guards the bridge has warthog tusks and long claws. The smallest goat approaches, the troll threatens, and the goat parries: "Oh, no, don't eat me!... Wait until the next billy goat crosses. He's much bigger than me!" Pinkney lingers over the goats' clunky, curvy hooves and their skeptical expressions. Hand-lettered sound words such as the story's familiar "trip, trap, trip, trap" amp up the visual energy; the troll's hands claw through the panel borders. A magnificent gatefold captures the moment that the oldest, biggest billy goat smashes through the bridge gate. The troll is tossed into the water ("Bam! Splash! Gulp!"), where he gets a dose of his own medicine as an even-larger creature threatens him. It's an ending so natural that readers may not realize it's a new addition, and it creates a neat pivot that turns a story of revenge and comeuppance into one that dwells instead on empathy. Pinkney is generous with his gifts; his paintings are splendid, nuanced, and unfailingly entertaining. Ages 4-8. Agent: Sheldon Fogelman, Sheldon Fogelman Agency. (May) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Review by School Library Journal Review

PreS-Gr 2-Employing his signature pencil and watercolor compositions, Pinkney brings a thoughtful, nuanced perspective to this classic tale. The story begins as expected, with the goats "trip-trapping" across the bridge in search of food-the first two urging the troll to wait for the bigger animal coming next. Each goat has a distinctive appearance; the troll is fierce, with green skin, horns, and exceptionally large teeth. The halcyon, rainbow-studded river valley is surrounded with rocks on one side and lush vegetation on the other. While the story retains familiar cadences, subtle decisions about language and behavior elevate the telling, ensuring multiple readings. As the drama progresses, the design changes, incorporating ever-stronger personalities until a gatefold opening accommodates the standoff between the largest goat and the troll. Hand-lettered sound effects enhance the text's dynamic potential. An artist's note mentions that Pinkney was "confounded by the ending of the original tale, in which the troll disappears or turns to stone.... It seemed he never had a chance to learn his lesson." Here, after the troll is catapulted into the water, he faces a monster fish who gives him a taste of his own medicine. A visual epilogue on the endpapers allows readers to form their own conclusions about the encounter's impact on all involved. VERDICT With a seasoned storyteller's ear for language and an extraordinary mastery of his medium, this wise and gentle bookmaker helps readers see that cleverness, community, and confrontation all have a time and place in dealing with a bully. Sure to become a storytime staple.-Wendy Lukehart, District of Columbia Public Library © Copyright 2017. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Review by Kirkus Book Review

Pinkney adapts the classic Norwegian tale, adding dramatic textual and visual details honoring the value of second chances. Three hungry goats, eyeing the lush grasses on the opposite riverside, "trip, trap" onto the bridge, each tussling with the troll barring passage. Snaggle-toothed, green-skinned, with a tail like a lion's, the hungry troll allows the first two across, since each promises even bigger eats to come. Pinkney's panoramic watercolor-and-pencil compositions visually differentiate the goats' sizes. The littlest, with stubby horns, squeezes through the bridge's gate. The bigger billy, with longer horns, leaps it. The largest, with full, curving horns, bursts through the gate with a "CRACK!" and "CRASH!" (A gatefold page amplifies the drama.) The threatened goat charges, butting the troll off the bridge. A giant, toothy fish yells, "WHO'S THAT SPLISH-SPLASHING IN MY RIVER?" Pinkney deals a lucky break, wryly speculating that "the troll was probably a bit too sour and green to make a tasty meal" for the retreating fish. Meanwhile, a whole "herd of billy goats" trip-traps over to enjoy that lovely green hill. Observant readers will detect, on the last spread and endpapers, that the goats and troll (who's building a new stone hut) have swapped riverbanks. Pinkney's graceful note invites readers to ponder issues of forgiveness, redemption, and peaceful coexistence in a terrific tale well-suited to family and group read-alouds. (Picture book/folk tale. 3-8) Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.