2007   JULY 19   #200

The Three Billy-Goats Gruff

The Three Billy-Goats Gruff (4:30)

My father used to send me off to sleep at night with this charming yet gruesome Norwegian folk tale. A few years later, as a third grader, I selected this newly-released book & record combo when my class placed its monthly Scholastic Books order. Though my original copy is long gone, I had the good fortune of picking up a replacement for 50 cents at a library book sale a few years back.

The record contains an audio version of the story with dramatic Arthur Rubinstein-composed music and an impressive piece of voice-over work from Bob Thomas. See if his angry troll doesn't remind you of one of Phil Hartman's more aggressive characters. The book is a real treat too. Originally published in 1963, it tells the story in a series of beautiful woodcuts by Susan Blair. I've included a few representative pages, but you should seek one out for yourself or your favorite morbid little child. Sadly, this edition is out of print, though used copies abound on eBay.

- Contributed by: Perry Amberson

Images: Cover, Who's That?, It's I!, Label

Media: 7-inch 33 RPM E.P.
Album: The Three Billy-Goats Gruff
Label: Scholastic Records
Catalog: SCC 0612A
Credits: Storyteller: Bob Thomas / Music: Arthur Rubenstein
Date: 1970