THE THREE BILLY GOATS BUENOS by Susan Middleton Elya

THE THREE BILLY GOATS BUENOS

Age Range: 3 - 6
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KIRKUS REVIEW

A time-honored folktale gets a makeover with the addition of snappy Spanish vocabulary.

In what begins as a familiar tale, three goat brothers are prevented from crossing a river by an irritable troll. They must put their heads together to formulate a plan to get past the troll, but the thoughtful goats in this version of the story find opportunities for empathy and even new friendships when they begin to wonder why the troll is so grumpy and are able to help her with a combination of first aid and goodwill. A scary troll proves to be a new amiga when the goats choose to show her kindness. In her now characteristic style, Elya’s rhyming couplets seamlessly weave Spanish words into verses: “How many creatures can pass me? Ningunos! You kids will be part of mis desayunos!” Repetition of some phrases and vocabulary will benefit both emerging readers and those who are working to learn Spanish. Ordóñez’s bold, geometric illustrations mesh with the simplicity of the plot and deliver lively visuals. Two of the goats have cute little beards; the troll looks like a blue brick with round ears and eyes, a V-shaped scowl, triangular pink nose and smaller triangular white fangs, and impossibly long arms. Byron Barton fans will appreciate the vibrant and uncluttered style.

An enjoyable addition to any folklore collection, this iteration of the classic story packs visual and linguistic punch. (glossary) (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: March 3rd, 2020
ISBN: 978-0-399-54739-3
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Putnam
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15th, 2019




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