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Beautiful art and a great retelling
on October 23, 2010
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.