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The Three Silly Billies

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"Hold your horsepower," said the little man with a stamp, a stomp, and a snort. "This is a troll bridge. I'm the Troll. Now, start passing the buck."
Bill Bob, Billy Bo, and Just Plain Billy don't have enough money to cross the troll bridge. But by pooling their pennies with the Three Bears, Little Red Riding Hood, and Jack, the Three SIlly Billies are able to pay the toll and cross the deep river in jolly good style. And there's a whopping surprise in store for the Troll!
As in Earthquack!, Margie Palatini and Barry Moser combine their talents to create an inventive new version of a favorite folktale.

32 pages, Hardcover

First published May 31, 2005

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Margie Palatini

55 books81 followers

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5 stars
94 (28%)
4 stars
122 (36%)
3 stars
85 (25%)
2 stars
26 (7%)
1 star
7 (2%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 74 reviews
28 reviews
February 23, 2017
This is a fractured version of the classic Billy Goats Gruff fairy tale. Billy Bob, Billy Bo, and Just Plain Billy are three brothers are heading to what is assumed to be a beach for some fun in the sun. As they are traveling they come across a troll bridge that is naturally ran by a troll. They find that they do not have enough change to pay the toll so they decide to create a car pool. The car pool is literally a car pool, the goats pump up their inflatable pool and wait for others to join them. Other famous fairy tale characters such as the three bears, Little Red Riding Hood, and Jack from Jack and the Beanstalk all join in on the car pool. They collectively have enough money to cross the bridge. They let the water out of their pool which washes the troll into the river. At the end the giant from the beanstalk encounters the bridge and eats the troll. This is a fun take on the classic and it is a nice surprise to encounter other fairy tale favorites throughout the story. The illustrations are very detailed from the diet gote soda cans to the dark green polka dots on the light green shorts of the green giant.
Profile Image for Taylor Hart.
30 reviews
February 6, 2018
The Three Silly Billies is a fractured fairy tale -- a take on the original Three Billy Goats Gruff. This book, however, includes more than just the three "Billies" and the mean old troll. This fairy tale incorporates characters from The Three Bears, Little Red Riding Hood, and Jack and the Bean Stock. The three billy goats in this version of the classic tale are hillbillies. Their goal is to cross the bridge that a troll is occupying and charging a dollar for every passerby. However, they do not have a whole dollar. So they must join forces with characters who are also trying to cross the bridge but lack the proper funds. Eventually, they outsmart the mean old troll and make it to the other side. They even pay the Grouch his dollar!

(Fractured Fairy Tale)
Profile Image for Cheryl .
8,917 reviews391 followers
December 30, 2017
Lots of reread value, because of lots of details of illustration and wordplay. I've read it carefully on two different occasions, and have still missed things that other reviewers have pointed out.

Best, I think, to buy it *before* the child is old enough to add various coins up to a dollar, and then when they realize that there is that bit in the book, they'll also be ready to 'treasure hunt' for the other details. And, yes, funny enough in even the simplest level for younger children. Even a rugrat will like the picture of the goats diving into the wading pool, or to our first encounter with the three bears.
1,140 reviews
March 11, 2013
The Three Silly Billies by Margie Palatini, illustrated by Barry Moser, follows three billy goats who, unable to cross a bridge because they can't pay the toll, form a "car pool" with the Three Bears, Little Red Riding Hood, and Jack of beanstalk fame, to get past the rude troll.

Moser's hunorous, detailed illustrations are rendered in tranparent watercolor on homemade Ilalian paper. Many amusing details are shown: a soft drink name, Troll's nametag, Mama Bear's T-shirt slogan, Red's basket contents, Troll's "office", and more. My favorite images are troll, car pool, basket contents, troll overboard, Giant, and last picture.

This fractured folk tale variant is a hoot, from the Billy Goat names to the "car pool!" Palatini's clever, snappy dialog and text feature alliteration, allusions, puns and more. The greedy, grumpy, smart-mouthed, rude troll gives everyone a hard time, making the surprise at the end more satisfying.

I liked the concept of sharing resources to reach a goal. Language arts and money addition tie-ins will please teachers. Some knowledge of the classic stories will make this more meaningful for readers and listeners. Adults will enojoy reading this aloud. Recommended for school and public library collections.

For ages 6 to 10, helpfulness, problem solving, folk and fairy tales, variant stories, humor, read-aloud, and fans of Margie Palatini and Barry Moser.
Profile Image for kristen.
589 reviews14 followers
March 29, 2016
A mixed-up spin on several classic fairytales. Characters are stopped from crossing a toll bridge at the trollgate plaza by a construction working troll. Fun to read-a-loud to my class as we've been reading the originals; they recognized the familiar characters and enjoyed comparing their silly ways to the classic characters. My favorite parts: Momma Bear wearing a "Big Momma" t-shirt, Papa Bear wearing a Chicago Bears t-shirt, and Little Red saying to the troll "My, what a big TOLL you have" :-)
Profile Image for The Brothers.
4,118 reviews21 followers
March 6, 2016
Another book Asher (4yo) has declared as his favorite. It's a good book to start with counting money. The illustrations are awesome. Incorporates a lot of other fairy tale story characters.
Profile Image for Diana.
1,475 reviews5 followers
April 3, 2019
This book didn't sit well with me. I liked the marvelous use of puns throughout the story, and the illustrations were lovely, but it almost felt like a discussion of civil disobedience and why the government or private companies shouldn't be respected and paid for the work they do. Don't get me wrong. I don't like paying tolls any more than the next girl (and don't get me STARTED on FastTrak here in Southern California...), but it's part of the process. The troll here looked like he was an overworked, underappreciated employee who had probably been dealing with people trying to get out of paying the toll all day. He's doing his job, and here he gets washed away and worse just trying to do his job! This wasn't the evil troll trying to eat goats. He's just a worker trying to make a living. And this is the thanks he gets? I don't know. I'm probably projecting here, because I, too, am an underappreciated government employee who gets to deal with people trying to get away with things all day, but I really felt for the poor troll.

Content Advisory: tattoos
6,803 reviews24 followers
September 19, 2019
Interesting twist on the Three Billy Goats tale. The troll guards a toll bridge and won't let them cross until they pay their dollar. They pool their money and wait to carpool with other characters. They set up a wading pool and play while they wait. They're joined by the Three Bears, Red Riding Hood and Jack of the beanstalk fame. Together they have enough coins to cross the bridge. They trick the troll into falling in the water but still pay their fee. Humorous ending as the next to cross the bridge is a green giant and the bridge ends up under new management.
Counting money is subtly worked in.
Profile Image for Andrea Cox.
Author 2 books1,631 followers
November 3, 2017
by Andrea Renee Cox

This was an okay book, but it wasn't to my taste. I disliked that one of the pictures featured tattoos. That isn't something I'd want young children being exposed to in early-reading books. I thought this book was going to be a revived Three Billy Goats Gruff story, but it ended up being more of a fairy tail mashup that was trying to be hip and cool. This style felt awkward to me. However, I'm sure there will be many people who adore this book.

I was not compensated for my honest review.
Profile Image for Mely.
1,317 reviews
October 17, 2019
This story has a lot of hidden innuendo that only an adult would understand. So of course my 4 yr old didn't completely "get" this book. It also doesn't help that she's not familiar with the classic tale of the 3 Billy Goats Gruff, so she had a lot of questions. Nonetheless, it's a silly, tongue in cheek story.
Profile Image for Jude.
296 reviews13 followers
March 13, 2018
Alternate title: How A Greedy, Wet Troll Meets His Comeuppance.
Profile Image for Karla.
1,665 reviews15 followers
May 21, 2019
GREAT but long

LOTS of fairy-tale characters in this too

great story-line
Profile Image for Jade Kuhn.
27 reviews2 followers
June 27, 2013
Three goats approach a bridge, only to be stopped and asked to pay a toll by a grumpy little man. Unable to pay the toll, they wait near the bridge and are soon joined by three bears, a boy named Jack, and little red riding hood. The main characters are introduced right away. We are then presented the supporting characters through the story. The story has a very humorous and playful tone. There are remarks used that will put a smile on an adults face; It is nothing bad, just adult humor. There are sound words each time a new character is introduced that the reader can make the sounds. In addition to the story, there is also usage of money. The characters add money to equal a dollar each time a new one shows up. The illustrations are very simple. There is lots of white space usage. All of the illustrations are surrounded by white space which draws attention to the illustration. Even though the illustrations are simple, they are very detail oriented. Texture plays a great part in the illustrations. Dimension allows the listener to see the illustrations with a 3-d effect. The end pages are a royal blue. This story definitely screams problem solving. It allows children to observe what is going on, what will happen and hypothesis about what could be done to get the sought out result.
502 reviews21 followers
September 12, 2016
Read this to my students and they loved it. I actually think I got more out of it than them because there were words and phrases which went over their head.
Will be buying for myself.
3,220 reviews
August 30, 2011
A lot of text but funny. Could be used as a first book.
Three billy goats, unable to cross a bridge because they cannot pay the toll, form a car pool with The Three Bears, Little Red Riding Hood, and Jack of beanstalk fame to get past the rude Troll. "Hold your horsepower," said the little man with a stamp, a stomp, and a snort. "This is a troll bridge. I'm the Troll. Now, start passing the buck." Bill Bob, Billy Bo, and Just Plain Billy don't have enough money to cross the troll bridge. But by pooling their pennies with the Three Bears, Little Red Riding Hood, and Jack, the Three SIlly Billies are able to pay the toll and cross the deep river in jolly good style. And there's a whopping surprise in store for the Troll! As in Earthquack!, Margie Palatini and Barry Moser combine their talents to create an inventive new version of a favorite folktale.
Profile Image for Matthew.
2,757 reviews43 followers
April 9, 2013
This book is the marriage of fairy tales, mathematics, figurative language, and great storytelling. I was completely blown away by all this book had to offer. It was like a smorgasbord of eligible content all wrapped up in great writing. I could use this book in too many ways to count. If you don't see it, look harder. This book is a gold mine for teachers, and not just because so much was wedged into a single book. The real value here is that the story is good enough that the kids will be completely baited and hooked to do something with this. Give it a look. Build a lesson from it. Build a few lessons from it. This is a well of untapped potential.
Profile Image for Krista the Krazy Kataloguer.
3,873 reviews263 followers
September 21, 2009
While I enjoyed the humor of this book, I'm not sure kids would get all the little jokes and plays on words, nor would they notice the humorous little details in the illustrations. For example, when Little Red Riding Hood empties out her purse to find change, she has a tube of "Lupusnot" toothpaste and "Tisket & Tasket" perfume. Would a kid know what a "lupus" was? It's hard to judge what age group this was written for, with the snappy dialog and illustrations more for older kids, I think. Still, as I said, I enjoyed it and recommend it for older readers who like a quick, funny read.
Profile Image for Dena McMurdie.
Author 2 books134 followers
November 26, 2012
This was imaginative and creative, but my kids liked it far more than I did. It was a combination of several different fairy tales all rolled into one. It was interesting and entertaining at least.

The Illustrations: I liked the illustrations quite a bit. For the most part, the artwork enhanced the story and made it entertaining. It also worked well with the words to explain some of the parts that were a little vague or hard for kids to understand.

More reviews on my blog: Books for Kids
Profile Image for Teri.
2,480 reviews23 followers
May 22, 2012
This is the kind of math picture book I've been searching for FOREVER!! Hilarious story filled with plays on words even adults will love. My girls empty my purse when we read this story and get the right coins out for each character. Really fun way to reinforce counting money. We also work the addition out on paper. I can't rave enough. (We checked out a few more by this author hoping for more of the same, but haven't been impressed her other books yet.)
Profile Image for Rosa Cline.
3,321 reviews40 followers
December 7, 2016
Ms Palatini did a wonderful job at combining several fairy tales-nursery rhymes into a very cute book. At times making a play on words "Add your three cents in" "hit the road, Jack" that makes it fun for an adult to read too. My almost 3 year old granddaughter giggled and laughed while her Mama read this to her a few days ago and she did it again tonight when I reread it to her. A fun twist on old classic tales.
Profile Image for Susan.
175 reviews
September 14, 2010
My third and fourth grade classes particularly enjoyed this play on interlocking classic tales in a humorous story with engaging word play. Great to use as a varient tale to help students recognize various classic tales, ESL students to recognize the phrases and play on words used to create humor and just a fun book to read out loud. A very clever use of language.
Profile Image for Jess Gill.
595 reviews7 followers
May 30, 2016
just like in Palatini's "Bad Boys" books, this one was filled with idioms and expressions that made it entertaining to read as a parent. i like stories where fairy tale characters are combined into a joint adventure, and "The Three Silly Billies" has everyone from the 3 little pigs to Jack in the Beanstalk. accompanied by great illustrations - well-done all around!
Profile Image for Ishta Mercurio.
Author 2 books48 followers
March 1, 2011
This is absolutely the best of Palatini and Moser's books that I have read. The modern twist on the Three Billy Goats story is riddled with fantastic wordplay and surprises, and the illustrations meld perfectly with the text to fill in the gaps and create a seamless tale. This is one my 7-year-old will read again and again. Fabulous.
Profile Image for Angie.
2,388 reviews50 followers
June 14, 2011
Kiddos will enjoy this more if they have a solid background in the "original" fairy tales. (Something I've noticed ... try to do a fractured fairy tale and it doesn't work because the kids don't know the one it's based on!)

Take some time to look at the pictures and enjoy the words. Margie Palatini is a wonderful wordsmith.
Profile Image for Sharon.
176 reviews
August 4, 2012
Cute book about three billies who do not have enough money to cross the troll's toll bridge. By pooling their money with the three bears, little red riding hood and jack, they are able to get across. The nasty troll is in for a surprise at the end! Nice water color illustrations and a story that children will find halarious.
Profile Image for Mandy.
1,217 reviews6 followers
January 21, 2013
(4.5 stars)

The three billies want to cross the bridge to go have some fun in the sun. But the troll demands a one buck toll, and they don't have enough. Maybe they can splash in their car pool while they think of a way to "pool" their money with others who come their way?

Great math story book lesson on adding all coins until they get the sum of $1.00!
Displaying 1 - 30 of 74 reviews

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