Let’s bring back folktales! In the strange way of children’s publishing, genres ebb and flow. For most mainstream publishers, folktales are in serious ‘ebb’ mode, but Marshall Cavendish has always respected this favored form for young readers. Veteran tale teller Eric Kimmel gives kids a fresh take on the tale of the three billy goats who try to cross a bridge and fool the fearsome troll who wants to eat them in The Three Cabritos (Cavendish, $16.99).
You can tap into kids’ prior knowledge by asking them if they know the story of the Three Billy Goats Gruff. If so, let them tell it to you. Then read aloud this delightfully illustrated (Stephen Gilpin) southwest version about three furry musicians who want to cross the Rio Grande to spend the evening at a Mexican fiesta. What a great troll—or in this case, chupacabra! Along the way, have children guess how the billy goats are going to beat the fearsome monster, pull out a map and look at the Rio Grande, and learn a little Spanish using the guide provided. If you have some traditional tejano or better yet, conjunto music which blended some of the oom pa pa of polka music and the accordion sound with Mexican rhythms, play some for the kids. Your librarian can find some for you. What a great sensory experience!