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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
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
VINE VOICEon November 4, 2010
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
on October 27, 2010
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
VINE VOICEon December 29, 2010
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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on April 19, 2013
A bit concerned about the harsh nature of the giant bird grabbing the little Dassies, obviously to "eat" them! I am a nature lover, animal lover, respect life, so am a bit opinionated, I guess. But I like sweet stories for children. Time enough to know that life is not all sugar and spice. Can't we have stories that are just "nice", fun to read or have read by Mom or Dad, and not have to pose a question "what was the bird going to do with them"......"did the bird hurt them?"......."why did the bird grab them?"......

I am writing this while viewing TV and the bomber news, so am extra sensitive this early AM.

I enjoy the Jan Brett books, (look at my list of purchased items!) to give to dear little children (I am 78!) and am always taken by the fab illustrations, but like tender story lines to engender tenderness in our children as they head into a cruel and ever-increasingly violent world! Give me these and I'll be happy!!!
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on May 4, 2013
Awesome book by a great author, Jan Brett! If you have not shared her books with your children, please do so!
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on November 7, 2015
As with all of Jan Brett's books, the illustrations are marvelously detailed. The story itself is charming, but the side of each page has vignettes that go with the story and include African fabrics and plants. These add richly to the experience of immersing yourself in Ms. Brett's beautiful drawings. Her books are instant classics.
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on May 15, 2011
Great art work. Jann Brett has such an instinct and ability to bring to life the area the story takes place through her pictures. The story is unique and entertaining. My grandchildren had me read it over and over.
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on March 12, 2011
I love this African version of The Three Little Pigs tale!
Jan Brett is one of my favorite children's author and illustrater.
Her illustrations are amazing, and include much detail.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on October 19, 2010
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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