The Three Billy Goats Gruff by Jerry Pinkney

The Three Billy Goats Gruff

The Three Billy Goats Gruff by Jerry Pinkney; illustrated by Jerry Pinkney. 2017. Watercolor. Published by Little, Brown and Company.

Brief summary: (Traditional version). A small billy-goat wants to get over the bridge to the grassy hills on the other side of the bridge. A troll living under the bridge hears TRIP, TRAP! TRIP TRAP! and jumps out from underneath threatening to eat the little goat. The troll decides to let him go, because the next goat would be a bigger and better meal according to the little goat. The middle-sized goat is in the same situation and tells the troll to let him go and eat the biggest goat. The greedy troll lets him go too and shortly meets the largest billy-goat. The largest goat rams the bridge’s gate open. The troll yells that he is going to eat the goat right up. The goat dares him. The troll is charged and rammed over the bridge in which it encounters a surprise.  The goats and herd go back and forth on the bridge eating the wild, green grass.

Comments: I have never been disappointed with any folklore Jerry Pinkney retells and illustrates. His water color illustrations are superb and so detailed. There is an artist’s note in the back of this book and a left hand/right hand foldout. I urge new librarians to try to purchase all of his folklore books as an excellent addition to the library’s collection: The Lion and the Mouse, The Tortoise and the Hare, The Grasshopper and the Ants, Puss in Boots, Three Little Kittens, Little Red Riding Hood, The Little Red Hen, The Ugly Duckling, and many more. Everything he touches is gold. One of my favorite illustrators.

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Little Red by Bethan Woollvin

Little Red by Bethan Woollvin

Little Red by Bethan Woollvin; illustrated by Bethan Woolvin. 2016. Gouache and digital

Brief summary: A modern, courageous Little Red walks to her Grandma’s and meets a wolf who does not scare her. When she enters her Grandma’s house later on in the story and sees the wolf dressed up as her relative, she pretends to go along. The wolf tries to eat her which does not go well for the beast, since the wise little girl brought an ax inside with her. No damsel in distress for this girl! The ending does show her wearing a wolf cape and not a little red riding hood cape.

Comments: I got a kick out of this version of Little Red Riding Hood, because the little girl was not going to be a victim or in the need of a huntsman to save her. She saved herself. The grandmother is not so lucky. I plan to use this with my primary students making sure they hear the version that the Grandmother gets saved and/or wolf runs away first and then this variant. I hope to see more fairy tale variants with these  strong girl characters from Bethan Woolvin in the future.