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The 3 Little Dassies Hardcover – September 21, 2010


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 3 - 5 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - Kindergarten
  • Lexile Measure: 720L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Putnam Juvenile (September 21, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0399254994
  • ISBN-13: 978-0399254994
  • Product Dimensions: 11.3 x 10.3 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #340,054 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From 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
© Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

From Booklist

First things first: dassies, or rock hydraxes, are small mammals native to sub-Saharan Africa. In this “Three Little Pigs” adaptation, three dassies strike out to make new homes. While Timbi takes the time to construct a solid stone dwelling, hasty siblings Mimbi and Pimbi use grass and sticks, respectively. After being pursued by an eagle, the dassies’ natural predator (playing the wolf’s traditional role here), Mimbi and Pimbi find shelter at Timbi’s, where a blast from the chimney sends the villainous bird “home for a nap,” wrapping up the tale with a nonviolent end. The familiar plotline is extended in the intricate watercolor-and-gouache artwork in Brett’s signature triptych layout: each central panel reflects the action described in the text, while wordless panels on either side show equally involving scenes, all handsomely framed by depictions of cloth, beadwork, and vegetation. Brett invokes the African setting with details of the desert landscape and the animals’ colorful, patterned clothing. The last page turns the story into an inspired pourquoi tale about dassies’ habitat and the sootlike coloring of native eagles. Preschool-Grade 2. --Andrew Medlar

More About the Author

Jan Brett is the author of the New York Times bestselling Gingerbread Friends, The Three Snow Bears, and The Mitten, as well as many other classics. She lives in Norwell, Massachusetts.

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Customer Reviews

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My grandchildren had me read it over and over.
Marcia T. Plothow
I thought it was a superb book----very well written and the illustrations were lovely.
Faith B. Coniglio
If you have not shared her books with your children, please do so!
Readingqueen

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By J. Prather TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on October 23, 2010
Format: Hardcover
The Three Dassies is a great retelling of the Three Little Pigs that features Jan Brett's trademark intricate, finely detailed illustrations. Set in Africa, this telling replaces the pigs with Dassies, small rodent like animals that most kids will be unfamiliar with. Instead of the big bad wolf, we get an eagle that is hungry and after the cute little Dassie sisters for lunch for himself and his little eaglets. One builds her hut out of grass, one out of sticks, and one out of stone. In a departure from the original story, the eagle succeeds in taking two of the sisters back to his nest. He gets greedy though, and when he goes after the third, the Agama man (lizard) goes and rescues the first two from the nest as the other sister sits safely in her stone house.

This is an effective retelling and no one can argue that Brett is certainly at the top of her artistic game. It most likely is not a good choice for groups simply because there is so much going on with the illustrations. The sidebar illustrations tell a separate story of the eagle and the agama lizard at the same time the story of the Dassies is being told on the main spreads. This will no doubt be perfect for one on one lap sharing as there is just a ton of stuff to discover in these beautiful, artistic pictures. This is an excellent choice if you need an example of a classic story retold, or if you are looking for a gift to add to a child's permanent collection. Recommended.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Beverly L. Archer VINE VOICE on November 4, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Jan Brett' The 3 Little Dassies is an African version of The Three Little Pigs. I looked up dassie on the internet and after browsing several sites have come to the conclusion that dassies are rodent like creatures that live among the rocks. They are often referred to as rats, but some sites have compared them to guinea pigs and yet other sites state that they are closely related to dugongs and elephants.

At any rate, Brett's dassies are three adorable little animals that do battle with the Big Bad Eagle. The story takes place in the Namib Desert. The three dassie sisters: Mimbi, Pimbi and Timbi, leave home to build their own homes. Dressed in traditional African dresses and turbans they are harassed by an eagle (he would be the big bad wolf in the traditional story) who wants to feed them to his eaglets. Like the traditional story, the houses are made of leaves (straw), sticks, and stone (brick). The eagle screeches "I'll flap and I'll clap and I'll blow your house in!" He manages to catch Mimbi and Pimbi by destroying their homes. When he is unable to destroy Timbi's stone house, he decides to be content with just two dassies for a snack, not realizing that the clever little Agama Man (a brightly dressed lizard) has rescued Mimbi and Pimbi. Children will enjoy making the comparisons between the traditional story and Brett's version. Readers will be entranced by Brett's customary attention to detail in her illustrations. This book would be an excellent addition to a unit on fairy tales.

Recommended for Preschool - 3rd Grade
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Mrs. Cris Thompson on October 27, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
We love Jan Brett's books! We can't just borrow them from the library - we must own them! The illustrations are our favorites & each time we open 1 of her books from our shelves - we find something new we didn't notice before! (The "we's" are from ages 1 to 50!) The dressed dassies are darling and the twist on the popular pigs was delightful!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Connie Woods VINE VOICE on December 29, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I can't praise Jan Brett's books enough. I started buying her books when my daughter was in grade school. We're still fans and she is now 24 with her own toddler at home. I continue to buy Brett's books for my own library to share with my grand kids. Like her other books, this is a feast for the eyes. I'd never known what a Dassie was. Brett's books are educational even for this Gramma!
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Charity T. Jeffs on October 19, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
It was fun to read this twist on the classic tale of the three little pigs. Jan Brett's illustrations are delightful, as usual.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I know that my granddaughter will love it. I have turned her into a Jan Brett fan.
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