Accompanied by cartoonlike illustrations, this adaptation of The Three Billy Goats Gruff is set in Texas near the Rio Grande. Although Mama is worried about her three cabritosReynaldo, Orlando, and AgustÍngoing to a fiesta across the border in Mexico, they know that their music playingand the aid of a magic accordionwill protect them from the fierce Chupacabra, a legendary monster known as the "goat sucker."
The Three Cabritosby Eric A. Kimmel, Stephen Gilpin
Once upon a time three cabritos (little goats) decide to go to a Mexican fiesta. But their mother is worried. She warns them about Chupacabra, the goat-sucker who lives beneath the bridge. And sure enough, as the goats cross the bridge, he jumps out! "Say your prayers. I’m going to eat you," he tells the goats. But they are clever. And they know how to play music music that finally gets rid of that old goat-sucker forever! Pleasant illustrations rendered in pencil and digital techniques by Stephen Gilpin add to the story of the legendary creature, Chupacabra. An author’s note, glossary, and pronunciation guide are included.
PreS - Gr 3 - An original retelling of "The Three Billy Goats Gruff," with a "Texas twist." Despite their mama's warnings about Chupacabra ("goat-sucker"), the monster that lives under the bridge, three cabritos (young goats) are determined to cross the Rio Grande to play music at a fiesta in Mexico. The smallest sibling reaches the crossing first and puts the hungry creature off with the promise of a better meal (his larger brother) and a bit of nervous fiddle playing. Soon, the middle brother arrives with his guitar and makes a similar escape. When the biggest goat approaches the bridge, he requests that he be allowed to play his accordion one last time before being gobbled up. Chupacabra agrees, but soon discovers that the instrument is magic: he must keep dancing until the music stops. Exhausted, he shrivels up into a husk "as dry and brittle as a dead cactus." Kimmel builds to this humorous climax throughout the tale. The light tone is matched by Gilpin's glossy, pastel-hued cartoons. The protagonists are depicted with comically exaggerated features. Unlike the vampire-esque creature of modern urban legend, Chupacabra is shown as a not-too-frightening sky-blue blob. Match this fun variant with other versions of the original, e.g., Paul Galdone's classic (Clarion, 1981); stories set in the Southwest, such as Helen Ketteman's Armadilly Chili(Albert Whitman, 2004); or tales about the power of magic and music, like Pete Seeger's Abiyoyo(S & S, 1994).-Joy Fleishhacker, School Library JournalCopyright 2007 Reed Business Information
Meet the Author
Eric A. Kimmel has collected and retold many tales from around the world. Among his best are Hershel and the Hanukkah Goblins (a Caldecott Honor Book), Anansi and the Moss-Covered Rock, and Cactus Soup. When not writing at his home in Portland, Oregon, he shares his tales at schools and conferences throughout the United States. Learn more: www.ericakimmel.com
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My students enjoyed this story when we were comparing versions of The Three Billy Goats Gruff.