The Three Billy Goats Gruff retold by Mac Barnett, illustrated by Jon Klassen

Published by Orchard Books

Summary:  Rumor has it that this is the first in a series of fairy tale retellings by the popular Barnett-Klassen duo.  The troll living under the bridge is nearly starving, living on earwax and belly button goop while waiting for the goats to cross over.  He’s a poetic sort of fellow, making up all sorts of rhymes to capture his excitement about the goats (“I love goat! Let me count the ways/A rump of goat in honey glaze.”)  The small and medium goats talk their way out of being eaten, and the big goat…well, readers are in for a surprise and will also enjoy seeing the fate of the troll.  48 pages; ages 4-8.

Pros:  One can never rule out a Caldecott for Jon Klassen, and I love how the illustrations grow from a small strip at the bottom of the first page to a full-page spread when the big goat does his thing.  Kids will love the story, too, with its funny troll and just enough disgusting details thrown in.

Cons:  Barnett and Klassen’s books never really grab me until I read them to actual children, which I haven’t had a chance to do with this one yet.  The kids’ delight makes me appreciate each book much more than when I read it on my own.

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