Who's That Tripping Over My Bridge?

Overview

Up the Mississippi River from New Orleans, north of Baton Rouge live three billy goats named Gruff. They want to cross Thompson's Creek to reach the lush pastures on the other side, but there's a very scary troll under the bridge who wants to gobble up those billy goats.

A retelling, set in Louisianna, of the Norwegian folktale about three clever billy goats that outwit a big, ugly troll that lives under the bridge they must cross ...

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Overview

Up the Mississippi River from New Orleans, north of Baton Rouge live three billy goats named Gruff. They want to cross Thompson's Creek to reach the lush pastures on the other side, but there's a very scary troll under the bridge who wants to gobble up those billy goats.

A retelling, set in Louisianna, of the Norwegian folktale about three clever billy goats that outwit a big, ugly troll that lives under the bridge they must cross on their way to greener pastures.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Storyteller and first-time author Salley uses a narrative style that evokes the bayou setting for this piquant retelling. Three brother goats "wanted to go up to the hills and hollows of West Feliciana Parish to make themselves fat, that they did." But the troll awaits. In Salley's empowering version, the biggest goat takes matters into his own hooves: " `I have two spears, and I'll poke your eyeballs out of your ears...' That's what the billy goat Gruff said, and that's what he did!" Dixon's (Cajun Night After Christmas) eclectic illustrative style gives the tale a fresh, sometimes frightful look. Thick, heavy brushstrokes in the background evoke an abstract feel, while sparingly added cut-paper collage (for teeth, horns and insects) lends subtle definition to each Mardi Gras-bright spread. The yellow, purple and green goats, sporting, respectively, a Boy Scout cap, fishing hat and festive orange fedora, saunter through pages splattered with white paint. At times, competing elements make it hard to distinguish the characters from their swampy surroundings (and to discern the relatively small type). The red-eyed, orange-clawed troll with flaming hair looms large, though, as does his titular refrain. His untamed appearance and the graphic portrayal of his encounter with the first goat (shown with a wild stare and yellow teeth, he's poised to decapitate the smallest traveler) may scare the very young. But the eldest's triumph will put them at ease. Ages 5-8. (Apr.) Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
School Library Journal
K-Gr 2-Based on the Norwegian folktale, this is the story of three goats by the name of Gruff who live just north of Baton Rouge, on the plains of East Feliciana Parish. The brothers dream of going to the hills of West Feliciana Parish and eating all the green grass and making themselves fat. In order to get there they must cross the bridge over Thompson Creek, and under this bridge lives a troll that gobbles up everyone that dares to cross. Salley spices up her retelling, giving it a dramatic sense of place and Louisiana flare. Dixon's two-page illustrations are bold and vibrant, yet cluttered and difficult for readers to distinguish individual features. Thus, this title is better suited for telling aloud, independent reading, or one-on-one sharing. A useful supplement to folktale collections.-Shauna Yusko, King County Library System, Bellevue, WA Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Renowned storyteller and retired children's-literature professor Salley debuts as a children's author with a retelling of the Three Billy Goats Gruff story set in her home territory of southern Louisiana. The goats in question live upriver from New Orleans in East Feliciana Parish. They decide to fatten themselves up in the hills of West Feliciana, and to get there they must cross the old wooden bridge at Thompson Creek. But a great big ugly troll that loves to gobble anything crossing that bridge lives underneath. Each of the three goats pass by, the first two outwitting the troll, the third out-muscling it. Those who know her from numerous appearances at conferences and libraries around the country will hear echoes of Salley's distinctive voice and delivery, as the troll challenges each goat. Dixon (The Cajun Night After Christmas, not reviewed) cagily disdains draftsmanship for the kind of wild, loose paint strokes, splatters, bits of collage, and bright colors which young children might take as their own. The effect is a mirror to the rising and falling volume and onomatopoeia Salley uses to energize this old Norwegian folk tale. Salley has retired only from teaching as she proves that her expert storytelling skills are still in full bloom in this auspicious read-aloud. (Picture book. 4-7)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781565548909
  • Publisher: Pelican Publishing Company, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 1/28/2002
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 723,397
  • Age range: 5 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.60 (w) x 11.10 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Coleen Salley was New Orleans' premier storyteller, but her reputation as a children's literature expert extends worldwide.

Sisters Jenny Jackson Moss and Amy Dixon were inspired to write Cajun Night After Christmas after a phone call recapping the events of a chaotic Christmas with family and friends. Both are also visual artists. Jenny Moss lives in South Carolina with her husband and three children. Amy Dixon lives in Colorado with her husband and three children.

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