My niece Kensie and I have been sharing The Three Billy Goats Gruff every time we get together recently. She is almost four years old and enjoys this story more than I expected. Of course, I adore it, too, and someday I hope she will still remember it--I think she will--and I will explain it is also part of her Norwegian heritage.
I started out with my favorite picture book version of it the story, The Three Billy Goats Gruff PB w CD (Book & CD) by Mary Finch (Author), Roberta Arenson (Illustrator), the version I have used for large storytimes for over ten years now. The text is perfect for reading aloud and the illustrations suit a larger audience sitting at your feet.
I especially love Finch's text for these lines which are quite fun to sing:
"I'm a troll, from a deep dark hole,Here's a page:
My belly's getting thinner,
I need to eat--and goat's a treat--
So I'll have you for my dinner."
See, non threatening overall with playful colors although the troll is brown and mean.
After introducing the book, I produced my finger puppets for the tale--mine were made by Manhattan Toy and are discontinued--so we could tell the story again. Now, every time I visit, I read and Kensie plays with the puppets, acting out the story with great enthusiasm. I love the finger puppets I have because the middle goat is also a sister, not a brother, which adds to the fun. But they are no longer readily available for purchase so I thought I would see what else I could find. And I found Alma's Designs Billy Goats Gruff. What fun! Here's a little image of it with link since I put a big image at the top of this post:
There is also the Educational Insights Three Billy Goats Gruff which allows for finger puppet or flannel board use.
And another flannel board set, Flannelboards Billy Goats Gruff:
My other favorite is this puppet set, The Three Billy Goats Gruff Puppets, which would work better in a classroom with lots of kids:
I don't know if Kensie will receive any of these since I already have the system that works well for us and I like to keep the story new for when we see each other, but these would be great in the classroom or home. I love the story and I have yet to find a kid who doesn't either.