The Three Bully Goats
written by Leslie Kimmelman; illustrated by Will Terry
(Albert Whitman) 2011
Source: Review copy provided by the publisher
Gruff, Ruff, and Tuff are three goats that happen to be bullies. The other animals in the meadow are afraid of them and provide plenty of space to keep the peace. Everything is okay until the three bully goats decide that indeed the grass is greener on the other side. What stands in the way is a bridge guarded by a sweet little ogre. Each goat trip traps across the bridge and threatens the ogre with a possible head butt that will send him to Brazil. The ogre is discouraged by this bullying of himself and the other meadow animals. Fortunately, brains defeat brawn as the ogre devises a plan to teach these rotten goats a lesson.
The Three Bully Goats is an entertaining revision of the classic Three Billy Goats Gruff. I like the ogre's method of trying to outsmart the bullies instead of trying to out-tough them. I would pair this book with The Three Silly Billies by Margie Palantini and contrast the two stories through the use of graphic organizers. You could also practice paragraph writing (main idea sentence and supporting details) by asking students to take a familiar fable or fairy tale and turn it around 180 degrees in a summary paragraph as opposed to trying to rewrite the entire tale. The Three Little Wolves and the Big Bad Pig is another example of this tale twisting genre that you can share. If you are teaching a unit or lesson on bullying, this humorous book would be an effective resource as well.
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