The 3 Little Dassies

( 14 )

Overview

The Three Little Pigs with a twist! In the tradition of her bestseller The Three Snow Bears, Jan Brett finds inspiration for her version of a familiar story in Namibia, where red rock mountains and vivid blue skies are home to appealing little dassies and hungry eagles.

Mimbi, Pimbi and Timbi hope to find "a place cooler, a place less crowded, a place safe from eagles!" to build their new homes. The handsomely dressed Agama Man watches from the borders as the eagle flies down to...

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Overview

The Three Little Pigs with a twist! In the tradition of her bestseller The Three Snow Bears, Jan Brett finds inspiration for her version of a familiar story in Namibia, where red rock mountains and vivid blue skies are home to appealing little dassies and hungry eagles.

Mimbi, Pimbi and Timbi hope to find "a place cooler, a place less crowded, a place safe from eagles!" to build their new homes. The handsomely dressed Agama Man watches from the borders as the eagle flies down to flap and clap until he blows a house down. But in a deliciously funny twist, that pesky eagle gets a fine comeuppance!

Bold African patterns and prints fill the stunning borders, but it is the dassies in their bright, colorful dresses and hats that steal the show in this irresistible tale, perfect for reading aloud.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
This offering is classic Brett: meticulously rendered animal characters, an authentically depicted setting, ornate borders, action-filled side panels, and lively storytelling. This version of The Three Little Pigs takes place in southern Africa, where three dassies--small native mammals also called rock hyraxes--bid adieu to their family and set out “to find their own place.” After crossing the Namib Desert in a tortoise-pulled wagon, sisters Mimbi, Pimbi, and Timbi reach a mountain where they agree to settle down. They’re welcomed by an agama lizard, who mentions that an eagle, an enemy to dassies, lives nearby. After this predator destroys two of the dassies’ houses and carries the dassies to his nest, the lizard rescues them and helps outwit the bird. Brett (The Easter Egg) dresses her dassies in the vibrantly patterned traditional dresses and turbans of the Herero people of Namibia. The eagle and lizard are nattily attired in hats and colorful menswear--but even the suspenders, straw hat, and checked pants of the eagle don’t lessen the menace of his talons. A buoyant and original reimagining. Ages 3–5. (Sept.)
Booklist
An inspired pourquoi tale.
Children's Literature - Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
Brett has set her version of the Three Little Pigs in the Namibian desert in southern Africa. Her charming major characters are dassies, small furry creatures also called rock hyraxes, here dressed in elaborately patterned dresses and turbans like those worn by Herero women. Mimbi, Pimbi, and Timbi bid their family farewell and set out to find a place of their own. They decide to settle at the foot of a mountain, where they are welcomed by the Agama Man, a handsome lizard. Mimbi builds a house of long grass; Pimbi chooses driftwood for hers. Timbi decides to use stones, even though it will be harder work. The next day, the neighboring eagle flies by looking for food for his chicks. "I'll flap and I'll clap and I'll blow your house in!" he squawks at Mimbi, as he takes her to his nest. Then he does the same to Pimbi. But when he tries this with Timbi's house, he ends up leaving without her. Meanwhile, Mimbi and Pimbi have run back to Timbi's. The eagle returns, falls into the chimney, suffers burns, and flies away. Now dassies in Namibia live in stone houses, safe from eagles, with agama men watching out for them. The double pages have a large, detailed center action scene and small vignettes in the wide borders related to the action, with lively additions of local fabric patterns, all done in watercolors and gouache with airbrushed backgrounds. Check out the elaborately woven end pages. Reviewer: Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2—Brett's sumptuous retelling of "The Three Little Pigs" is set in southern Africa and stars three small guinea-pig-like creatures that live in rock crevices in the Namib desert. The three dassies, garbed in traditional African dresses and turbans, are harassed by an eagle, who, like the wolf in the traditional tale, wants them for supper. He flies to the dassies' houses made of grass and sticks and screeches, "I'll flap and I'll clap and I'll blow your house in!" then captures them and plops them into his nest. On the side panels another story develops with a brightly dressed lizard, the Agama Man, who is intent on rescuing the little creatures. Children will enjoy following both stories and will linger on each page following the exacting detail of the setting: the desert, the characters, the decorative borders, and all the small touches in between. This tale will captivate children and introduce a setting and animals unfamiliar to most of them.—Carrie Rogers-Whitehead, Kearns Library, UT
Kirkus Reviews
Ghanaian teenager Gloria Bampo has hit a rough patch. She failed most of her school exams, her long-unemployed father has lost himself to religion and her mother is ravaged by a mysterious sickness. Her one consolation, her older sister Effie, has discovered boys and all but disappeared. Gloria is offered a job in a distant city with Christine, a doctor who needs househelp. Her father is quick to assent, with one condition: In lieu of payment, Christine must take responsibility for Gloria's future and adopt her as a sister. Gloria adjusts easily, studies hard and explores her newfound freedom. But when the temptations of her new life—brand-name clothes and handsome doctors—prove hard to resist, a misunderstanding cuts a rift between Gloria and Christine. Each must confront class stereotypes and re-examine the meaning of family. Badoe's sharp and engaging prose unfolds the story with spryness, deftly navigating readers through heady social issues. But she wastes readers' goodwill at the end with a conclusion both haphazard and overly moralistic, jarringly out of place in this otherwise thoughtful and well-excuted novel. (Ghanaian glossary) (Fiction. YA)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780399254994
  • Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group
  • Publication date: 9/21/2010
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 490,347
  • Age range: 3 - 5 Years
  • Product dimensions: 10.20 (w) x 11.00 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Jan Brett

Jan Brett's books regularly appear on the New York Times bestseller list. She lives in Norwell, Massachusetts.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3
( 14 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 14 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 30, 2012

    Excellent. Great job by Jan Brett once again.

    Excellent. Great job by Jan Brett once again.

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    Posted February 8, 2011

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