The Three Fishing Brothers Gruff

Overview

Once upon a time, there were three fishing brothers called Gruff. They were mean and greedy and fished until there were no more fish to be fished in Poverty Bay. But watch out! Minke Whale, Guardian of the Ocean, isn't pleased, and neither are the townspeople of Poverty Bay! The brilliantly conceived text, based loosely on The Three Billy Goats Gruff, is matched by Ben Galbraith's bold, sophisticated artwork. And as you turn the pages, watch for all the die-cut portholes and handy environmental tips. ...

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Overview

Once upon a time, there were three fishing brothers called Gruff. They were mean and greedy and fished until there were no more fish to be fished in Poverty Bay. But watch out! Minke Whale, Guardian of the Ocean, isn't pleased, and neither are the townspeople of Poverty Bay! The brilliantly conceived text, based loosely on The Three Billy Goats Gruff, is matched by Ben Galbraith's bold, sophisticated artwork. And as you turn the pages, watch for all the die-cut portholes and handy environmental tips. This spectacular picture book debut  gives us a timely ecological tale about caring for our environment and protecting the earth's resources.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

In his first book New Zealander Galbraith puts an eco-twist on the classic goats vs. troll smackdown: the bridge becomes the threatened sea, a guardian Minke Whale replaces the troll, and the three goats become three "mean, prickly-faced" fishermen named Anglo, Anvil and Angora Gruff. Having overfished their own home waters of Poverty Bay, the brothers despoil the nearby Bay of Plenty. Then, in a move straight out of Moby Dick, Minke Whale rams the brothers' boat, sending all three to a well-deserved briny end. Working very much in the vein of Lane Smith, Galbraith produces a book both visually hip and handsome. His digitally collaged illustrations are marvelously mordant and often ingenious (several pages, for example, feature cleverly incorporated die-cuts). Quirky, hand-press-styled typography and side quips by marine inhabitants add to the urbanity. Unfortunately, the irony and sophistication are strictly for appearances-as a writer, Galbraith lets his earnest environmentalist fervor get between the reader and the story. The ending is positively preachy: "The people of both towns had learnt a lot. No more did they dirty the water with oil or rubbish and they were careful never to be greedy." But with a little more maturity and seasoning-the book sprang from Galbraith's senior project at design school-he might turn out a story worthy of his art. Ages 4-up. (Feb.)

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
Kirkus Reviews
Taking the familiar folk tale as his model but revising the ending considerably, Galbraith fashions a blunt cautionary tale aimed at heedless degraders of the environment. Having fished out Poverty Bay, three sibling owners of successively larger boats move on to the Bay of Plenty, knocking the minke whale guarding it out of commission in the process. The brothers proceed to deplete and pollute that fishing grounds too-whereupon the whale rises again, to eat one brother, drown the second and leave the third for the sharks. Local residents, having "learnt a lot," proceed to use the bays wisely so that their ecologies can recover. Illustrated with a garish tangle of photo-manipulated found objects, scowling painted figures and harvested fish-plus the occasional die-cut hole-this import will be best directed toward readers who need their lessons bludgeoned home. (Picture book. 7-9)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780340893425
  • Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton, Ltd.
  • Publication date: 3/1/2007
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 5 - 9 Years
  • Product dimensions: 9.00 (w) x 12.00 (h) x 0.18 (d)

Meet the Author


Ben Galbraith was born in a small town called Gisborne on the East Coast of New Zealand in 1980, and studied at Design School in Wellington, majoring in Illustration.
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