Here's the one, parents and grandparents. Stephen Carpenter's son Tad had loved this story so much that Carpenter decided to write his own version--and am I glad he did! This is one of my four-year-old's daily requests, and my 13-year-old will still scoop it up for a chuckle from time to time. What makes this particular edition so great?
1. Big, fun illustrations. The goats are different sizes/colors. The troll is green, knobby, and hairy.
2. A troll who is just scary enough for a little menace (the littlest goat gruff appears once in his shadow) but is still kind of cute, and very comical when he takes that famous drink.
3. The cadence and style of the writing is just perfect for doing different voices for the troll and three goats, just like my mom used to do. The first time she tried it with this book, she remarked, "This is a really good version."
4. The encounter between the biggest billy goat and the troll is simply thrilling--this is one tough, unintimidated billy goat!
4. The last page is fantastic. The goats are grazing in a veritable Eden with smiles of satisfaction, and the troll is hilariously peeking out of the water down next to the bridge.
5. The old-fashioned ending--"snip snap snout, this tale's told out."
This family of seven could not love this book any more. I would not change a single line of the illustrations or a single syllable of the text. A beaut.