Reading/Interest Level: Preschool, Primary
Author: Jerry Pinkney
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Three brother billy goats crave the lush grass across the river but the bridge is guarded by a hungry troll. The littlest and hungriest goat ventures to the bridge first. When confronted by the troll he tells the hungry bridge guardian to wait for his bigger brother who will have more meat, which the troll decides to do. The middle brother goat offers big brother goat and also gets a pass. Big brother deals with the troll head on by knocking him into the river where a giant fish offers to gobble the troll up. Fortunately the troll is too tough and in the end page pictures we see that he is building a hut on the hillside with some billy goat help.
Illustration and story telling are by a Caldecott medalist and are very well done. The author states in postscript that his ending is intended to allow the troll to learn that bullying is not fun. Because of this, parents may want to use this book to start a conversation with their children about being bullied and also about bullying others and understanding how that feels. The message remains the same, there is always somebody bigger and stronger, so play well with others. Some text is hand drawn into the illustrations which adds a nice depth to the artwork and storytelling. This is story that encourages parent and child to use voice effects for the diverse characters.