Reviews for Three Silly Girls Grubb


Booklist Monthly Selections - #2 September 2002
PreS-Gr. 1. In this remake of "The Three Billy Goats Gruff," three silly sisters replace the goats and a mean-spirited boy takes over the bullying role of the troll. When the girls miss their school bus, they must cross the bridge under which Ugly-Boy Bobby lives. He threatens to take the littlest sister's lunch (one jelly doughnut), but she convinces him to wait for the medium-sized Grubb and her six jelly doughnuts. But then the middle Grubb sister tells Ugly-Boy Bobby that her extra-large sister has a whole dozen. In an effort to frighten the biggest Grubb, he climbs onto the bridge and has quite a fit. Grinning, the girl tells him he can have the doughnuts, "But first I will plant a dozen mushy kisses on your little-boy nose," a threat which makes Bobby run off to school"--and he never missed school again." Despite the slightly weak ending, the storytelling is lively, highlighted by growling threats and clever tricks, and the comical double-page spreads match the nonsense. Extend the fun by comparing this with the original story. ((Reviewed September 15, 2002)) Copyright 2002 Booklist Reviews

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Horn Book Guide Reviews 2003 Spring
Schoolyard dynamics set the course for this freewheeling variant, with three human kids skipping across the bridge and truant-playing Ugly-Boy Bobby in place of a troll. Ugly-Boy Bobby is vanquished by the threat feared by bullies everywhere: ""mushy kisses."" The Hassetts' playful bandying about of stereotypes gives the story its charm. The olive-and-rust toned art is never drab due to the quirky details scattered about the pictures. Copyright 2003 Horn Book Guide Reviews

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Horn Book Magazine Reviews 2002 #5
Schoolyard dynamics set the course for this freewheeling retelling, with three human kids, not billy goats, skipping instead of tramping across the bridge, and truant-playing Ugly-Boy Bobby in place of a troll. As a result, Ugly-Boy Bobby is vanquished not by force but by the threat feared by bullies everywhere: "mushy kisses." It's the oldest, "extra large" Grubb sister-the other two are small and medium-who says she'll plant a dozen smooches on him, one for every jelly donut he plans to steal from her brown-bag lunch. This sends Ugly-Boy scurrying back to school, where he becomes quite the egghead, never to play hooky again. The Hassetts' playful bandying about of stereotypes gives the story its charm. Their stocky Grubb sisters are a mix of modern grit and old-fashioned girliness. The artwork incorporates lots of olive green and rust-colored tones, but it's never drab, due to the amalgamation of quirky details scattered about. In one spread, while Bobby rages beneath the bridge, the hills next to him appear in x-ray vision, chock full of fossils. (And fans of the Hassetts' previous books will peg the girls' dog as a dead ringer for Charles from Charles of the Wild.) Now "Spink! Spank! Spinach! This [review] is finished." Copyright 2002Horn Book Magazine Reviews

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Kirkus Reviews 2002 August #1
Those three Billy goats have been transformed into young girls and the troll morphed into a mean boy in this retelling of the classic folktale. When the three Grubb sisters, sized small, medium, and extra large, miss the bus one day, they must walk to school . . . over a bridge where Ugly-Boy Bobby hides out every day. He never goes to school or ties his shoes, he eats bugs and worms, and he often throws things. As each skipping Grubb passes over, he demands to know who is crossing. They sweetly answer, also telling him what they will learn in school that day-to count to ten on their toes, to spell "bumblebee's bottom," and to look at tiny things under a microscope. Bobby threatens to eat the girls' lunches, but the small and medium-sized Grubbs each tell him to wait for the next bigger sister-she has more jelly donuts with her. Now, the extra large offers quite nicely to share, but the condition she sets is not acceptable to Ugly-Boy Bobby, who runs off to school and never misses a day again. The Hassetts (Cat Up a Tree, 1998, etc.) have created a gentler tale with this retelling-no one is threatened with being eaten, the girls and the "troll" are both people with whom children can identify, and the meanie gets rehabilitated. Soft colors, animals, and plants abound in the cartoon illustrations and the round faces of the characters are especially good for expressing emotions. Snip, snap, snout, a good turnabout. (Picture book. 4-8) Copyright Kirkus 2002 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved

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Publishers Weekly Reviews 2002 August #3
Who needs billy goats and a troll? The Hassetts (Cat Up a Tree) do just fine without those traditional characters as they infuse the popular folktale with some fresh faces and a zippy sense of fun. When the three silly Grubb sisters sized "small, medium and extra large" miss the bus, they're forced to walk, well, "skippity-skip-skip" to school. Their path to higher learning takes the girls over a bridge under which truant, cranky Ugly-Boy Bobby lurks ("Who's that skipping on my bridge?" he says; the sisters' reply corresponds to their size, " `It is little me,' squeaked the smallest of the three"). Ugly-Boy Bobby tries to grab each Grubb girl's lunch, without luck, until the biggest Grubb makes him a truly lip-smacking offer that will change him forever. The clever collaborators behind this effort clearly express a childlike glee in their eclectic imagery (jelly donuts, a jump rope, a playful pup on each spread) and quick-paced text. Staying true to the genre, the girls' polite tone and resourceful actions win out. And all along, Ugly-Boy Bobby's benign threats and the skewed perspectives from under and atop the bridge keep the humor here afloat. Creamy-hued scenes of a grassy countryside evoke the story's timeless appeal while bright contemporary details (the school bus, backpacks, a lined roadway) offer kids some contemporary points of reference. Ages 4-8. (Sept.) Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.

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Publishers Weekly Reviews 2006 March #4
"Who needs billy goats and a troll? The Hassetts do just fine without those traditional characters as they infuse the popular folktale with some fresh faces and a zippy sense of fun," said PW. Ages 4-8. (Apr.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

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School Library Journal Reviews 2002 November
PreS-Gr 3-A clever, funny takeoff on the "Three Billy Goats Gruff." Three sisters who miss the bus to school must cross the bridge under which Ugly-Boy Bobby resides, eating bugs and wallowing in the mud. As they cross, "skippity-skip-skip," he demands their jelly donuts, but the first silly girl only has one, the second, just six. It is the third sister who has the most, of course, and the fun is in the solution. There's no violence here; the extra-large girl puckers up her extra-large-sized lips and says, "You may have my dozen jelly-donuts- But first I will plant a dozen mushy kisses on your little-boy nose." That gets him running, all the way to school, and he hasn't missed a day since. The book ends, "Spink! Spank! Spinach! This story is finished." The weird and rollicking illustrations add dimension to the text. Colors are muted, becoming more so as rain falls and the conflict builds amid the flat olive green of the hills and trees; there's playful invention, too, and the spreads have a sense of movement and energy. The characters are squat, almost clownlike, with round faces, beady eyes, and painted-on lips; poor Bobby is truly ugly. This title is grounded in tradition but makes a strong statement all its own.-Martha Topol, Traverse Area District Library, Traverse City, MI Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.

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