Wednesday, March 23, 2011
The Three Billy Goats Gruff
The first time I read Paul Galdone's The Three Billy Goats Gruff (c. 1973) to the kids, I read it dramatically, giving voice to each character, and, consequently, scared them to death. Ooops! The second time I read it (a three-second follow-up to the first reading), I dropped the voices, and the kids loved the story. All that to say, Momma is scary and Paul Galdone is not.
You must pick up this book from the library! Galdone does a phenomenal job of retelling the classic folktale (which I believe originated in the Norwegian oral tradition - please, please correct me if I'm mistaken!) with his characteristic wit and humor. It depends on your child's sensibilities as to whether the troll is scary or not. We think he's ridiculously hideous . . . which lends a purposeful hilarity to the character.
Whenever we check out The Three Billy Goats Gruff, I get hoarse from re-reading it so many times (yep, the kids now beg for the dramatic voices). There's a certain satisfaction of good triumphing over bad that kids implore to hear again and again!