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The Three Silly Billies

3.83  ·  Rating details ·  313 ratings  ·  73 reviews
"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 tol
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published June 1st 2005 by Simon Schuster Books for Young Readers (first published May 31st 2005)
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Average rating 3.83  · 
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 ·  313 ratings  ·  73 reviews

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Feb 22, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: kidlit, fairy-tale
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 the ...more
Taylor Hart
Feb 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ed-204-books
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 no ...more
Dec 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing
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
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 conte
May 17, 2012 rated it really liked it
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" :- ...more
The Brothers
Jan 16, 2016 rated it really liked it
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. ...more
Apr 02, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: kids
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 overw ...more
Sep 19, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: picture-books
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 ...more
Andrea Cox
Nov 03, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: challenges-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 hone
Oct 16, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: picture-books
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. ...more
Mar 12, 2018 rated it it was ok
Alternate title: How A Greedy, Wet Troll Meets His Comeuppance.
Karla Winick-Ford
May 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
GREAT but long

LOTS of fairy-tale characters in this too

great story-line
A fractured tale of Billy Goats Gruff.
Many characters from different fairy tales appear.
Heather Gunnell
Staff Pick

This is a fun and clever retelling of "The Three Billy Goats Gruff. I love the way the goats team up with other well-known characters to outwit the troll.
Jade Kuhn
Jun 27, 2013 rated it really liked it
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 a ...more
Sep 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing
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.
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 p
Apr 06, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: literary-devices
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 compl ...more
Krista the Krazy Kataloguer
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 ...more
Dena (Batch of Books)
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
May 22, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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.) ...more
Rosa Cline
Dec 02, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2014, kids, 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. ...more
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.
Jess Gill
Nov 15, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
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! ...more
Ishta Mercurio
Feb 28, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
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. ...more
Jun 14, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: picture
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.
Jul 19, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: children-s
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.
Jan 20, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
(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!
Mar 02, 2016 added it
Shelves: fairytale
This is a fun book because it is a twist on a classic fairytale, so it is modernized. Students will be able to make connections to another story they have read and make comparisons. In addition, this story is repetitive so it can be used to work on making predictions and reading out loud/repeat after me lessons.
This is the classic tale of the troll under the bridge harassing
people trying to cross it.
There is a variation on the story in that:
* there are notable fairy tale characters
* it is intentionally silly

The language for a children's book has alliteration, onomatopoeia,
and math components.

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