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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Subjects
Genres
Picture books
Published
New York ; Boston : Little, Brown and Company 2017.
Edition
First edition
Language
English
Physical Description
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 25 x 29 cm
ISBN
9780316341578
0316341576
Main Author
Jerry Pinkney (author)
Review by Booklist Reviews

*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. Copyright 2017 Booklist Reviews.

Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews

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 2017 Publishers Weekly.

Review by School Library Journal Reviews

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 School Library Journal.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

A sumptuous rendering of a classic folktale by the Caldecott Medal-winning artist of The Lion & the Mouse follows the efforts of three hungry billy goats Gruff who are challenged by a terrible troll as they try to cross over an old bridge to reach the bountiful grass on the other side. 50,000 first printing.

Review by Publisher Summary 2

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

Review by Publisher Summary 3

A classic read-aloud favorite addressing bullying retold by acclaimed artist Jerry Pinkney.Jerry Pinkney puts his indelible stamp on another beloved folktale in the same vein as the Caldecott Medal-winning The Lion & the Mouse and the highly acclaimed The Tortoise & the Hare and The Grasshopper & the Ants.When the three billy goats Gruff are hungry, they see bountiful grass to eat across an old bridge. But the bridge is home to a terrible troll, who is peckish himself, and looking for a tasty morsel to gobble up. In his interpretation of the timeless tale, Jerry Pinkney shows there's little good to come from greed--but in the end, redemption for even the most trollish bully is possible. A dramatic gatefold heightens the climax of this brilliant rendition.Don't miss these other classic retellings by Jerry Pinkney:The Little MermaidThe Lion & the MouseThe Tortoise & the HareThe Grasshopper & the AntsLittle Red Riding HoodTwinkle, Twinkle, Little Star

Review by Publisher Summary 4

A classic read-aloud favorite addressing bullying retold by acclaimed artist Jerry Pinkney. Jerry Pinkney puts his indelible stamp on another beloved folktale in the same vein as the Caldecott Medal-winning The Lion & the Mouse and the highly acclaimed The Tortoise & the Hare and The Grasshopper & the Ants. When the three billy goats Gruff are hungry, they see bountiful grass to eat across an old bridge. But the bridge is home to a terrible troll, who is peckish himself, and looking for a tasty morsel to gobble up. In his interpretation of the timeless tale, Jerry Pinkney shows there's little good to come from greed--but in the end, redemption for even the most trollish bully is possible. A dramatic gatefold heightens the climax of this brilliant rendition.