Reading Level: Ages 4-8
Paperback, 32 pages
Published: March 2007
Estimated Price: $9.99 USD
The classic tale, Three Billy Goats Gruff, is given a smart update in this story of three grumpy, greedy, and grouchy fishing brothers who are responsible for capturing all the fish in a bay and polluting its waters. Naturally, the neighboring villagers are angered, as is the giant whale who calls the bay home.
While the ending of Ben Galbraith’s story may be a little dark, his work reminds me of some of Roald Dahl’s best: as in Matilda and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, horrible and selfish characters get their come-uppance.The author also manages to weave into the narrative an environmentally friendly message.
Alongside some of the most visually appealing and creative illustrations I’ve seen in a children’s book – the artwork is a blended collage of paintings and sketches layered with scanned images - tiny fish implore the reader in speech bubbles to recycle and think of the environment.
More of Galbraith's fantastic artwork can be found at his website
4 out of 5 sprouts