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Three by the Sea
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Three by the Sea

3.59 of 5 stars 3.59  ·  rating details  ·  353 ratings  ·  79 reviews
In a house by the sea there happily live a dog, a cat and a mouse. Well, happily enough until a stranger knocks on the door one night, offering them each a special free gift. Who is this mysterious salesman blowing into their little world and turning it upside-down? And can their happy home survive his trouble-making gifts?
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published September 30th 2010 by Jonathan Cape
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This is the story of a black cat, a white dog, and a gray mouse, who live happily (or so they think) in a house by the sea. The dog tends the garden, the cat cleans the house, and the mouse does the cooking. 3.5 STARS One day, A. Stranger arrives with an offer for them to use "The Winds of Change" to shake up their lives, and proceeds to point out to the mouse that maybe the dog should plant herbs instead of bones; to the dog that the cat's method of housecleaning may not be the most productive;...more
Aug 03, 2011 Dolly rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: parents reading with their children
This is a fun story that reminds me a bit of Pumpkin Soup. Three friends live together in relative harmony, each with their own specializations for pitching in around the house. But one day a stranger sows the seeds of discontent by bringing to light the imperfections of each friend's contribution. It's an interesting tale and (I think) has a satisfying resolution to the discord. I think it's a good book to read to children to help emphasize the importance of everyone pitching in to help make th...more
Mouse, Cat, and Dog live in a little house by the sea, each of them responsible for a different daily task. One day, a fox from the Winds of Change Company comes to call. With his visit, he brings discord and discontent...but he also brings something that may not have happened any other way--change.
Some parts of the book didn't seem very cohesive, and the message of cooperation, working together, and self-examination might be missed by some of the intended audience, but it could be a great book...more
A cat, mouse, and dog live together. Reminds me of a Grimm fairy tale featuring a bird, a mouse, and a sausage (yep, a sausage). Still, cool to read aloud with my nine year old daughter. She wanted to know more about the gifts the mysterious stranger left for each of them. In the Grimm version, there is a much darker ending. In this version, there is a positive lesson on friendship, love and loyalty. For an adult, there are some pretty subtle themes on good and shades of evil. Worth at least one...more
Pika's Mom
This is the 4th Mini Grey book that I've read to my 3-year old daughter. I'm a fan (probably more than my daughter is)! She likes Mini Grey books a lot, and I LOVE them. I love her illustrations, the quirkiness. I love that mouse only made fondue for dinner and love his little cookbook of fondue recipes. The details are wonderful! We study the page together for a long time and note all the funny things we see. I read the other reviews and agree with some of the issues with the book...the motive...more
Three friends with divergent talents and interests live by the sea in what turns out to be uneasy harmony. A stranger comes into their lives, sowing resentment among the friends. Things come to a head when the friends almost lose their lives in the ocean, having driven one of their number to attempt to leave home. When they return to their house they discover that the stranger has left and stolen their boat. Their lives, however, are not lessened by his duplicity and manipulation. His encouragem...more
The meddler. We all know one. Leave it to Mini Grey (Traction Man is Here!) and her formidable talents to pull off a picture book that explores this subject with unexpected nuance. Sure the meddler can be bad, but just maybe they provide an opportunity for a bit of self-examination as well. A black cat, a white dog, and a gray mouse live together on an otherwise uninhabited island. The trio are happy with their arrangement until a fox washes up on shore and messes everything up. An excellent loo...more
Shanshad Whelan
An odd book . . . I'm not sure it's one I'd read aloud. While the first part with the stranger causing disharmony is clever and the middle where the animals find a way through and reunite isn't bad, it's unclear exactly what the fox stranger's purpose is. He steals the boat and leaves seeds behind. He causes unrest which winds up making the trio stronger. But he seems intentionally to be causing strife and doesn't feel as genuine as the author of making the trio realize how important they are to...more
This book is kind of a mess thematically. So change is good, okay, but is it also okay to plop yourself into the middle of a family and slyly, deliberately stir up trouble? I don't care if they are all happier in the end, that damn wolf couldn't have cared less if they weren't. Their happy ending totally relied on an external crisis. Plus he stole their boat. Two stars instead of one because I loved the details in the first five pages. (Especially the wolf arriving on a pool float.)
Three friends, (dog, cat, and mouse) live happily by the sea until a stranger comes to visit and stirs things up, making everyone unhappy. But the stranger does indirectly teach them a lesson about friendship. Great story.

When I read this book with my 5 year-old son, we had a conversation about communication, thank you Mini Grey for opening the door to a meaningful discussion about something so important for healthy friendships and relationships in general.
Pat (Get Kids to Read) Tierney
Grey, Mini. Three by the Sea. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2010. Print.
This review is also posted on Get Kids to Read:
Picture Book
Three by the Sea is a good picture book that will be popular with children from Preschool to Grade 2. In a house by the sea, a dog, cat, and mouse live together. One day they receive a visitor from a fox. The fox was from the Winds of Change company and he starts to change the way they do things. Suddenly the three of them are crit...more
Cat, Dog and mouse live together in a house by the sea. Mouse does the cooking, Dog does the gardening and Cat does the housework. And they are happy. Then one day, A. Stranger from the Winds of Change Trading Company shows up and stirs up trouble. He sets the three animals against each other with whispers behind everyone's back. Fairly soon, they're all yelling at each other. But when Mouse is in danger, Cat and Dog put aside their anger to help their friend.

I was disappointed by the ending, bu...more
In the same essential tale as Pumpkin Soup three friends are challenged in their long-held household roles by a new-comer - who stirs the domestic-bliss-pot a little. Each then questions everyone's job/place in the house and gets angry at what were likely quietly held grievances anyway. Mouse leaves and gets into trouble. Cat saves mouse. Dog saves cat and mouse. Friends lie together on the beach quietly appreciating what they each bring to the friendship circle, rather than what they think they...more
Dog, Mouse and Cat live together in a house by the sea. Dog tends the garden, Mouse does the cooking while Cat cleans the house. They are happy together. That is until one day a stranger appears.

Fox is from the "Winds of Change" company. He explains that if they feel that something is missing from their lives he can help. And of course, it's all free. Hmmm...

After kicking the 3 friends out of their bed the fox begins to meddle in the household affairs, causing the friends to turn against each ot...more
Dog, Cat and Mouse all live happily together by the sea with their household chores neatly divided. But when a Fox comes ashore, he causes all sorts of trouble. He brings tempting items from The Winds of Change company that will change their lives. Dog’s gardening is criticized for only being buried bones, so the stranger offers Mouse herb seeds and new cookbooks. Dog is encouraged to wear a new collar and is upset at Cat’s laziness. Cat is shown how dull and repetitive Mouse’s cheesy recipes ar...more
Three unlikely friends--a cat, a dog, and a mouse--live together peacefully in a house by the sea. But their peaceful existence is upset when a stranger brings change into their lives. Little by little, he points out possibly annoying details such as dog's proclivity to bury bones in the garden, cat's tendency to sleep rather than clean the house, and the predictability of their meals. Before they know it, the three are at each other's throats. It takes a near tragedy for their harmony to be res...more
The friendship of Dog, Cat, and Mouse is challenged when a stranger visits their beach house. The stranger brings attention to the odd way each character does things: Dog tending to a garden of bones, Cat taking cat naps during this cleaning time, and Mouse always cooking fondue. A quite night at dinner turns into a fight of blame and ridicule. An accident brings the three friends back together.

"Three by the Sea" is appropriate for ages 5+ (Grades K+).

This book is a very thought-provoking story...more
I know there is something here to this book and I am not sure I'm getting what I should be pointing out here to my daughter. Three very odd friends live together happily by the sea and then in comes the stranger from the Winds of Change company causing discontent in the household. Suddenly the friends who seemed happy were not at all. It takes one of the friends nearly drowning for them to realize the importance of their friendship. But on another note the stranger left, taking their boat but le...more
Chelsie Marie Pritz
A dog, a mouse, and a cat live happily together near the sea. Dog did the gardening, cat did the housecleaning, while mouse did the cooking. They all were very happy, until a sly fox came floating across the shore. He was from the “Winds of Change Trading Company.” He planted secrets in the ears of cat, mouse, and dog. Soon, they all were fighting and mouse ran away. He found himself in trouble, and cat and dog saved him.

This is a wonderful story of friendship and forgiveness. One of Mini Grey’...more
Catherine Austen
Loved the story, words and pictures, the way it showed how the fox manipulates the friends into wanting a different lifestyle. It ended kind of abruptly, almost like two stories in one, but it was original and I enjoyed it.
Strange little ditty about a cat, dog and mouse who live happily by the sea. When the wind blows in a "stranger"--a fox who announces them as winners of the Winds of Change Trading Company prize--then promptly takes over the bed, trouble is afoot. I get it...the book message is to be happy with what we have and not look for trouble or fault in others...but I'm perplexed overall about how one expects to share this title with children? Definitely not something I would pick for storytime...and as a...more
The Styling Librarian
I'm still thinking about this beautiful picture book. I've been trying to understand the message, author intent, and although I loved the book, I'm not there yet. I did love the point on friendship and how you grow in friendship so that you're not pigeonholed into one life but blossom together with the help of friendships... My son on the other hand was quite certain that something had to be happening in regards to the food chain since there was a dog, cat, and mouse all living together getting...more
Laura Salas
I liked this better on second read. I love the funny bits about the garden, the cleaning, the cooking, and how each character is kind of just thinking about him. But I can't figure out if the fox is a con man or a metaphor for actual change, or what. He seems to be just trying to stir up trouble, which I don't like. Yet, somehow, by the end, the three friends are better off than they were before (and I love the cat rescuing the mouse). I'm going to have to read this again in a while to see if it...more
Sarah Souther
Cat, Dog, and Mouse live happily together in a hut on a rocky beach. A strange Fox lands one day and says they are the lucky winners of a visit from the Winds of Change Trading Company. He sows the seeds of discontent until the three housemates are furious with one another. But then, things change. Grey uses a lot of textures in her illustrations of the slightly scraggly but very cozy world of the beach hut and throws in subtle, silly details (such as Mouse's receipe for "Super-Whiffy Stilton Su...more
Elizabeth Beverley
Really enjoyed this, illustrations & story are brill.
Mary N
Initially, I thought that the stranger was the bad guy, provoking inbalance and fights where there was harmony and happiness. In addition, the stranger was a fox, was pretty pushy, inviting himself in and sleeping on the only bed while the hosts slept on the floor. The stranger sounded sketchy... At the end, though, the reader realizes that the stranger had come to open the mouse's, cat's, and dog's eyes to the possiblity of collaboration where they could find even greater happiness. Good book f...more
Cat (love the eyepatch!), dog and mouse live together on the beach, three friends who nevertheless are set in their ways. When a stranger comes along one day, they begin to look at life just a differently...

I loved this book! The characters were fleshed out, the story bumped right along, the text was nice and large (good for readalouds!) and I liked the take on the trickster character. Definitly (for me!) a keeper book.
Rebecca Ann
This was a peculiar story about a cat, dog, and mouse all living together and all responsible for different chores. When a stranger visits and breeds discontent, they discover that every job gets done better when they all help and bring their new ideas to it. This book promotes teamwork and friendship, though I think that many children would just enjoy it for face value. This could work for storytime or one on one reads.
Adorable illustrations give the reader a love for the characters but the story lacked depth to me. Very cute, but the message is confusing. Does the stranger benefit the small cast of characters by making them dissatisfied with one another and then ultimately leaving with their boat? Do the seeds he left behind make up for the ways he pitted the friends against one another? Maybe I am reading too much into it.
Carrie Gelson
Quirky book. Do we sometimes need a catastrophe to bring us back together? Does an outsider need to show us we are stuck unhealthy habits. Do we sometimes need some fresh ideas? This book helps us explore these questions. A book that needs some adult prompting to ask the key questions to help this book all make sense. Better as a read aloud and discuss than a read on your own or for older picture book readers.
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