The Three Fishing Brothers Gruff

The Three Fishing Brothers Gruff

by Ben Galbraith
     
 

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Once upon a time, there lived three mean and greedy brothers called Gruff. They fish and fish until Poverty Bay is empty, and so resolve to find somewhere else to catch their fish. But watch out, Minke Whale, the Guardian of the Ocean isn't happy and the neither are the townspeople of Poverty Bay! This brilliantly conceived text is based loosely on The Three Billy

Overview

Once upon a time, there lived three mean and greedy brothers called Gruff. They fish and fish until Poverty Bay is empty, and so resolve to find somewhere else to catch their fish. But watch out, Minke Whale, the Guardian of the Ocean isn't happy and the neither are the townspeople of Poverty Bay! This brilliantly conceived text is based loosely on The Three Billy Goats Gruff.

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.)

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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)
From the Publisher
'witty reworking of the familiar fairytale...' ... 'affecting cautionary tale for young children about the harm we can do our environment by overfishing and polluting our seas.—Child Education

witty and intelligent... a very topical story with a satisfying ending that will give young readers plenty to think about.—New Zealand Herald

compelling... setting and characterisation... Visually the book impresses...—Irish Times

Working very much in the vein of Lane Smith, Galbraith produces a book both visually hip and handsome.—Publishers Weekly

With its striking collage, peep-through pages, wit and sound ecological message about greed, pollution and over-fishing, Ben Galbraith's The Fishing Brothers Gruff is a handsome action adventure for 4-7s in which a minke whale takes on three villainous despoilers of the sea and their big machinery.—Nicolette Jones in The Sunday Times

It has a strong ecological message. With striking collage artwork and die-cut portholes, this is an impressive first book by a New Zealand-based author and artist.—The Children's Bookseller

Having both local and international appeal The Fishing Brothers Gruff is an impressive, if not flawless, debut, promising much and, for the most part, delivering.—Mapgies

...unusual and distinctive picture book... the Three Fishing Brothers Gruff is in a league of its own. The story line is engaging, the illustrations sutnning, there is a thought-provoking message at its centre....—www.adoption-net.co.uk

...a sound ecological tale of overfishing. Superbly illustrated, this story from New Zealand is timely. It combines an important message with a cracking story.—Carousel

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780340893418
Publisher:
Hodder & Stoughton, Ltd.
Publication date:
03/28/2007
Pages:
32
Product dimensions:
9.30(w) x 11.90(h) x 0.40(d)
Age Range:
5 - 9 Years

Meet the Author

Ben Galbraith was born in a small town called Gisborne on the East Coast of New Zealand in 1980. After High School, Ben left beach life to go to Design School in Wellington majoring in Illustration. After graduation, he moved back to Gisborne where he lives with his mother and brother. Now he works at a Printing House as a Graphic Designer, whilst working freelance on his illustration career. Fishing Brothers Gruff is Ben's first picture book and he absolutely loved writing and illustrating his own story. He likes scanning textures into the computer to use in his artwork. At Design school, he got into trouble for scanning real, smelly dead fish! Other unusual facts include the fact that Ben is colour blind! All his drawings from when he was a child have purple skies and all self potraits have green freckles! Ben loves the ocean and as well as being a mad keen surfer he is also fascinated by fish!

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