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Title: Super Billy Goats Gruff by Sean Tulien
Three goats want to get to the hillside to eat grass and grow fat. Their way is blocked, however, by a fearsome beast and his minions, whom they must defeat.
I was surprised by how nicely they expanded and played with the Billy Goats Gruff story. There isn’t a lot to it, but this author had the idea of turning it into an adventure like what you might find in a video game level. Each of the brothers has a specific role (warrior, wizard and ninja), chooses a different route to take, has special powers, and fights different minions along the way. At the end the brothers work together to defeat the “boss,” so they can get to the coveted field of grass. 😉
The story is really simple, but I enjoyed the characterization of the goats and the fun video game take on the story. The artwork fit the theme perfectly. You can tell the story premise came from the mind of someone who is into video games. It takes subtle jabs at the genre and/or the way characters behave in those games. My favorite character was Big Gruff and I thought his power up scene was hilarious!
I recommend Super Billy Goats Gruff to elementary-age kids who like fun retellings of fairy tales. I think boys would really get a kick out of this one.
Rating: 4 Stars
Until next time…