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Three by the Sea

3.65  ·  Rating Details  ·  434 Ratings  ·  93 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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Nov 02, 2011 Kathryn rated it liked it
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 liked it  ·  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
Jun 05, 2011 Nielson rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
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
Feb 20, 2014 Sheri rated it really liked it
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
Oct 03, 2012 JP's rated it it was amazing
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
Mar 05, 2013 Danny rated it it was amazing
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
Jun 02, 2011 Reader rated it really liked it
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
Jul 13, 2011 Shanshad Whelan rated it liked it
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
Aug 20, 2011 Melissa rated it it was ok
Shelves: picturebooks
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.)
Randie D. Camp, M.S.
Sep 24, 2011 Randie D. Camp, M.S. rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
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.
Carlos Gastelum
Dec 12, 2014 Carlos Gastelum rated it it was amazing
Knopf, A. A. (2010). Three by the sea. New York, NY: Mini Grey.

This fictional picture book, is about three friends, a Dog, Cat and a Mouse who live in their beach hut and come to realize the true meaning of friendship after their lives get turned upside down by a mysterious stranger. As the story begins the stranger comes along and hands out gifts to each friend while attempting to get each one of these animals against each other. This book is excellent for young elementary students as it tells
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
Mar 20, 2014 Diane rated it liked it
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
Juliana Lee
Puzzling book. Mouse, Cat, and Dog all live happily together by the sea. They each have their own roles and they seem content with the arrangement. But then along comes a fox who stirs up trouble and has them each questioning the motives of the others. Mouse decides to move away but gets lost at sea. Cat, although he can't swim, goes in after him. And Dog rescues them both. They return to their home by the sea to find the Fox gone. Fox has left a few seed packets behind and in the end Mouse, Cat ...more
Dec 30, 2011 Linda rated it liked it
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
Apr 19, 2011 Tasha rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
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
Feb 07, 2012 Barbara rated it really liked it
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
May 04, 2013 Liz rated it it was ok
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
Nov 05, 2011 Sandie rated it liked it
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
Jessie Cleary
Grammar. "They lived happily. Or so they thought."
Discussing whether they were happy gives opportunities for children to use subordinating and coordinating conjunctions.
Happen naturally when analysing a text.

Both sentences started with coordination conjunctions. Why has she chosen to do that?
Tension/ short sentences.

'Ever after' is missed out. Or so they thought in its place.
Jul 31, 2015 Libby rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-book, animals
A sweet story about family, sharing the load, and contentment. A cat, a dog, and a mouse live happily by the sea, until a stranger shows up and starts stirring the pot. Luckily, the three realize before too long that the stranger is sowing seeds of discord and, while they make a few changes based on their experience, they continue to live happily ever after.
Oct 28, 2015 Jack rated it really liked it
Shelves: k-g-4
Will the three friends, Dog, Cat and Mouse, weather the Winds of Change Trading Company? Mini Grey's illustrations are unique and interesting with little zingers tucked in here and there.
Hermelin, the Mouse Detective is my favorite of her books.

Age Range: 5 - 8 years
Grade Level: Kindergarten - 3
Lexile Measure: 660L
Apr 19, 2016 Melissa rated it liked it
We really enjoyed talking about how even though each person may have a special talent and a preferred activity, working together and complimenting each others efforts can not only make the activity itself more successful, but we have fun cooperating and sharing both the work and the benefits!
Chelsie A.
Jun 26, 2013 Chelsie A. rated it really liked it
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’
Catherine Austen
Jun 13, 2014 Catherine Austen rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
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.
Deborah Dempsey
Aug 21, 2015 Deborah Dempsey rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was deep

I thoroughly enjoyed this story. It is about friendship, challenge, change, and growth. The illustrations beautifully marry the story together.
Jun 12, 2011 Tricia rated it it was ok
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
Nov 18, 2014 Joanna rated it liked it
Shelves: picturebooks
Quiet story of three unlikely housemates- a dog, a cat, and a mouse- and the sly fox salesman who breezes into town and stirs things up.
The Styling Librarian
Jul 12, 2012 The Styling Librarian rated it really liked it
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
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