The Three Billy Goats Gruff

by Mac Barnett (Author) Jon Klassen (Illustrator)

The Three Billy Goats Gruff
Reading Level: K − 1st Grade

The momentous debut of a groundbreaking Fairy Tale series -- a brilliantly crafted, hilarious twist on this beloved classic, The Three Billy Goats Gruff, from renowned, award-winning, and New York Times bestselling duo and picture book pioneers Mac Barnett and Jon Klassen!

Once there was a bridge and a terrible and VERY hungry troll lived underneath it. When the three Billy Goats Gruff decide to clip-clop across the bridge to get to the grassy ridge, the troll is already imagining all the way to prepare a delicious goat dinner. But the troll underestimates those seemingly sweet but oh-so-savvy goats!

This is the first in a groundbreaking new collection of fractured fairy tales crafted by one of today's most celebrated and acclaimed authors, Mac Barnett, and brought to stunning visual life by award-winning and beloved creator of I Want My Hat Back, Jon Klassen. Told with pitch perfect timing and pacing, hilarious detail, and Barnett's signature narrator voice, this is Billy Goats Gruff as never before. High-stakes page turns will have readers on the edge of their seats and giggling along, as they join each goat and anticipate the arrival of the hungry and terrible troll living under the bridge. With Klassen's brilliantly restrained scenes, arresting characters, and celebrated artistic style, this first of three fairy tales is destined to be a true publishing event!


Starred Review
This inaugural offering in Scholastic's new fairy-tale series... sets the bar high and will be a favorite read-aloud among kids. Picture-book superstars Barnett and Klassen are known for their stellar collaborations, and their many fans will be waiting to snap this up.

Publishers Weekly

Starred Review

It's hard to imagine a more appropriate pair of picture book rascals to remix this famous fairy tale, a series-starting retelling, than collaborators Barnett and Klassen (The Wolf, the Duck, and the Mouse). Working in his customary earthen tones, Klassen gives the troll a round schnozz and pointy fangs; his under-the-bridge hideout sports a skull-and-bone mobile. Gleeful grossness abounds as the troll awaits a would-be feast ("All he'd eaten lately was... some goop he'd found in his belly button"), but when the first two ungulate siblings trod the bridge, the troll's elaborate rhyming lines reveal unexpected gastronomic sophistication ("A goat flambé with candied yams./ A goat clambake, with goat, not clams!"). Narrow ribbons of images rise as the pages turn, creating a tidal effect that crowds the text close to the top of later spreads. Meanwhile, the goats' ruse goes just as tradition dictates: the troll falls for each sibling's offer of a larger, tastier brother, building to a turn of gargantuan proportions and a multi-spread, slapstick finale that's guaranteed to elicit raucous fun and repeat performances: "Who seeks to reach the grassy ridge?/ Who dares to walk across my bridge?" Ages 4-8. (Oct.)

Copyright 2022 Publishers Weekly, LLC Used with permission.

Review quotes

Mac Barnett
Mac Barnett is the author of several award-winning books for children, including President Taft Is Stuck in the Bath, illustrated by Chris Van Dusen, and Extra Yarn, illustrated by Jon Klassen, which won a Boston Globe-Horn Book Award and a Caldecott Honor. Mac Barnett lives in California.

Jon Klassen is the author-illustrator of I Want My Hat Back, a Theodor Seuss Geisel Honor book, and This Is Not My Hat, winner of the Caldecott Medal. He is also the illustrator of House Held Up by Trees, written by Ted Kooser, which was named a New York Times Book Review Best Illustrated Children's Book, and Extra Yarn, written by Mac Barnett, which won a Caldecott Honor. Originally from Niagara Falls, Ontario, Jon Klassen now lives in Los Angeles.
Lexile Measure
Guided Reading Level
Orchard Books
Publication date
October 20, 2022
BISAC categories
JUV019000 - Juvenile Fiction | Humorous Stories
JUV002090 - Juvenile Fiction | Animals | Farm Animals
JUV039000 - Juvenile Fiction | Social Themes | General
JUV012040 - Juvenile Fiction | Fairy Tales & Folklore | Adaptations
JUV052000 - Juvenile Fiction | Monsters
Library of Congress categories

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