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Little Britches and the Rattlers Hardcover – September 1, 2008


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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

PreSchool-Grade 1—Little Britches heads out to the rodeo where she hopes to do well in calf roping. Along the way, however, she meets seven rattlesnakes, each of whom she appeases by handing over a piece of her fancy cowgirl attire. A twist of fate returns the duds and she wins at the rodeo. Set in the Texas desert, the illustrations are rendered in muted browns, golds, reds, and blues. Little Britches looks like a spunky preschooler with determination written all over her postures and face. The colorful snakes look wily and ridiculous when dressed in her duds. A fun read-aloud.—Linda M. Kenton, San Rafael Public Library, CA
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

On her way to the rodeo, where she thinks she’ll have a good shot to win the calf-roping contest, Little Britches runs across a series of rattlesnakes who threaten to eat her right up. At each encounter, she bargains with the rattlers, offering her new hat, chaps, boots, and so on until she’s left with only her long johns to wear to the rodeo. She figures everyone will laugh at her and decides to just go home, but then spots all the snakes showing off their newfound clothes to each other. Bickering ensues, and the snakes wind up swallowing each other so that nothing’s left except Little Britches’ whole wardrobe. Kimmel’s little yarn makes good use of early counting concepts and introduces some western lingo in a leisurely repetitive structure. This will make for a swell read-aloud, highlighted by the repeated threat Little Britch-ch-ches, we’re gonna s-s-swaller you up! Nguyen’s artwork complements the glib silliness as the snakes try to fill out the little girl’s clothing. Grades K-2. --Ian Chipman
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 6 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: 1st - 3rd
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Two Lions (September 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0761454322
  • ISBN-13: 978-0761454328
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 8 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (56 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,098,645 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Audiobook lover on May 3, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
For those old enough to remember, this is Little Black Sambo with snakes instead of tigers, etc., and without the pancakes. I guess the author figured the basic story was worth keeping, and this book does a good job. Anybody remember Sambo's restaurants in the 60s?
No offense meant to anyone, BTW. I'm just an old timer grandma enjoying sharing a good story with her little little ones while I remember the past.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Celeste VINE VOICE on November 5, 2013
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This book was cute in the beginning. Little Britches is heading to the rodeo and keeps coming across Rattlers who want to eat her. She bribes each of them, starting out with her Stetson hat and ending with the Cowgirl boots. The illustrations of the snakes wearing her clothes are really cute. Little Britches is considering going home because she is too embarrassed to go to the rodeo in her long johns. She comes upon the snakes and they are fighting over who looks the finest in her clothes. They then somehow form a big circle and eat each other by the tail until there is nothing left. Aside from this being really creepy, why wouldn't the largest snake be left to keep all of her clothes?
I can deal with the regional dialect (phrases like ain't got nothing or using git instead of get). But the creepy of the snakes all eating each other up is just too much. This book will be sitting on the shelf for a while.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By OutlawPoet TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on November 5, 2013
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This was a fun and silly book - until the poor snakes ate each other! I enjoyed the illustrations, although my daughter really thought Little Britches looked like a boy (she does) and wanted her to look more like the girl she's supposed to be.

As for the story, it had just the right touch of silliness in the beginning. The drawl was cute and because of it, even the word 'aint' didn't bother me too much. The snakes hissed. And Little Britches standing in her long johns was funny.

My daughter was enchanted by the snakes and had even picked out her favorite (he was wearing the Stetson hat). Then her favorite snake (and mine and all the rest) died from eating each other. Suddenly, the funny left the book and my daughter was horrified. I turned it around quickly, creating other ideas of where the snakes went, but she doesn't want to touch this again.

I did like most of the book, but parents should go into this knowing that the funny, cute, and adorable snakes don't make it out alive and make sure your child can handle that. Mine wasn't ready for that!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By 319 VINE VOICE on November 5, 2013
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Lil' Britches is on her way to compete in a rodeo but she is stopped by several snakes along the way who threaten to eat her up if she doesn't give them some article of her western wear. By the time she gets down to her britches the snakes end up fighting and they swallow each other up. She then collects all of her clothing and goes to the rodeo where she wins the calf roping contest. My two year old daughter has developed an odd fascination with snakes, wolves and spiders so this book is right up her alley. She was into the story the first couple of times that I read it, but she hasn't asked for it again. Unlike Eric A. Kimmel's other two books that we own, 'The Three Little Tamales' and 'Little Red Hot', which she asks for on a daily basis. 'Lil Britches' is our least favorite book of Mr.Kimmel's and unless your children have an interest in snakes or the old west, this book might seem a little scary. Mr.Kimmel's other books that I mentioned are really great and if you haven't read them then I highly recommend them.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Citizen John TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on November 8, 2013
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
The mean snakes in this story terrorized Little Britches. These snakes creep me out and had my kids rapt. It's a scary story because of the snakes.

I wanted the snakes destroyed because they seemed irredeemable. They destroyed themselves. This is the closest thing to a scary nighttime story as I want to get with my boys and girls.

Elements of the story can be expounded upon to show that the authors may be having a wicked politically incorrect laugh, but it was just a scary story to us.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Grady Harp HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on September 29, 2013
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Author Eric A. Kimmel and illustrator Vincent Nguyen are a talented duo. They know how to take a potentially frightening story and turn it into a tale of bravery and concentration on the task ahead.

Our heroine from Texas is Little Britches who saddles her pony and heads out for the rodeo in hopes of winning a calf-roping contest. But on her trail she meets a number of rattlesnakes who threaten her but to no avail. Little Britches bargains with them, outsmarting them by give each of them a part of her cowgirl outfit until she is left with only her long johns. Feeling dejected she soon encounters all the rattle snakes wearing her clothes and playing until they throw of the clothes, fighting for which one is best. The snakes end up `swallerin' each other, Little Britches reclaims her clothes and proceeds to win the contest.

Not only is this a fun story to read, but it also carries many lessons about keeping your cool and engaging your mind when potential danger arises. And it just may make children les afraid of the snake family! Grady Harp, September 13
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Didaskalex VINE VOICE on October 29, 2013
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
"This was a delightful book for my first grader grandson who is a car and truck fan, but enjoys this engaging book by Eric Kimmel. Oliver can relate to this book, because horses and rodeo can create adventure." -- Vine reviewer

Overconfident Little Britches saddles her pony, and put on her gear heading out for the rodeo. Her hopeful intention was to win the calf-roping contest first prize. Along the way, the author explores her fears materializing in seven cunning rattlesnakes which threaten her life and her great hope! But Little Britches uses her natural talents and learned skills to negotiate with the snakes and keep her goal in focus.

Oliver enjoyed the ride and the tale, vividly portrayed in bold graphite and watercolor. Vincent Nguyen digital illustrations are very pleasant bringing this southwestern arid nature to an enjoyable remote Schubert serenade. This is how the talented troubadour utilizes both kid's imagination and graphic arts to keep a curious first grader in his virtual gear riding with Little Britches to the end with confidence!
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