The Three Bully Goats


When Gruff, Ruff, and Tuff, bully their way across a bridge and into a meadow — teasing a kind ogre and butting small animals along the way. The ogre, frustrated that being friendly and polite didn't work, hatches a plan to teach the "bully" goats a lesson. This twist on "The Three Billy Goats Gruff" is a great read-aloud (and discussion starter) will have kids laughing in the aisles.

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When Gruff, Ruff, and Tuff, bully their way across a bridge and into a meadow — teasing a kind ogre and butting small animals along the way. The ogre, frustrated that being friendly and polite didn't work, hatches a plan to teach the "bully" goats a lesson. This twist on "The Three Billy Goats Gruff" is a great read-aloud (and discussion starter) will have kids laughing in the aisles.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
That's right, it's bully goats—a smart and timely idea for breathing new life into a classic. This time, the hero is the "really nice" guy under the bridge: Little Ogre, who's Shrek green, sports a purple Mohawk, and is "friends with everybody." He knows he's no match for Gruff, Ruff, and Tuff—goats so nasty that after crossing the bridge and entering the meadow, they proceed to trample wildflowers and head-butt baby animals. Like anyone afflicted by bullying, Little Ogre feels powerless—until he remembers the baby skunks who live in the tallest, sweetest grass. Terry's (The Three Little Gators) rendering style, which look like a cross between airbrushing and pastel work, can feel too controlled and well-groomed for this tongue-in-cheek retelling; while the persecuted baby animals are funny, and the final image has a triumphant cuteness, Little Ogre only registers the broadest emotions. Kimmelman (The Little Red Hen and the Passover Matzah) nods to her source material with a "trip trap" refrain and other rhythmic elements, but most of the fun comes from seeing a fairy tale's tables turned—and turned again. Ages 4–8. (Mar.)
Children's Literature - Beverley Fahey
Turn about is fair play and in this imaginative variation of a familiar tale, the goats are truly the gruff ones. Gruff, Ruff, and Tuff graze all day in a grassy meadow that no others dare to come near. With a "grass is always greener on the other side" attitude, they decide to head across the river. Under the bridge they have to cross lives one very small and very kind ogre. He covers his ears in fright as each goat crosses the river with a threat to "butt you from here to Brazil." Bunnies and deer are no match for the head butting threesome. Just when the ogre is about to cry, he has a plan and enlists the help of his friends the skunks. They turn their backsides to the goats and...well let's say that those goats never bothered the animals in the meadow again as they galloped far, far away. The cartoon illustrations in Day-Glo hues are as lively and energetic as the tale. Children familiar with the original will giggle with delight as the mean goats are bested by the small animals. This could be used with primary grades as a discussion starter on bullying but pair it with other variations such as Rebecca Emberley's Three Cool Kids (Little Brown, 1995) and have students write their own variation. Reviewer: Beverley Fahey
School Library Journal
K-Gr 3—Gruff, Ruff, and Tuff, three bully goats unhappy on their own turf, want to cross the bridge to the greener meadow on the other side. Little Ogre trembles as the first scary goat calls out, "I'm Gruff, and I mean, I'm really gruff./And you, you're just a powder puff./Now stop squawking, or I'll butt you/from here to Brazil." Gruff crosses the bridge, tramples the meadow, and butts the baby bunnies. Then Ruff repeats the refrain, crosses the bridge, and butts the baby deer, while Little Ogre weeps in frustration. When Tuff comes "TRIP TRAP" over the bridge, the ogre thinks quickly and directs the largest bully goat to the tall grass. He tosses four baby skunks head over paws before they raise their tails and spray all three goats. All the animals in the meadow sing, "Hip hip hooray!/We called their bluff! /So long, bully goats/Gruff, Ruff, and Tuff!" The neon-bright cartoonish illustrations show goats with bullish features—especially the third goat—and a small green troll with a purple curl and warty fingers. The sky is pink and yellow over a lime green meadow. Compare this contemporary version with a twist to Paul Galdone's classic The Three Billy Goats Gruff (Clarion, 1973). Here the bullying theme seems heavy-handed; a more redemptive version is Ann and John Hassett's The Three Silly Girls Grubb (Houghton, 2002).—Mary Jean Smith, Southside Elementary School, Lebanon, TN
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780807579008
  • Publisher: Whitman, Albert & Company
  • Publication date: 3/1/2011
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 529,950
  • Age range: 5 - 8 Years
  • Lexile: AD800L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 8.20 (w) x 10.20 (h) x 0.40 (d)

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