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The Three Little Tamales Hardcover – March 1, 2009


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 6 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: 1st - 3rd
  • Hardcover: 40 pages
  • Publisher: Two Lions (March 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0761455191
  • ISBN-13: 978-0761455196
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 12.2 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (70 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #190,105 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Tía Lupe and Tío José and their taquería in Texas are back, and this time Tía Lupe is making her famous tamales in this “Three Little Pigs” takeoff. The three tamales are encouraged to run for their lives by a runaway tortilla rolling by. Since the little tamales do not want to be eaten, they flee and seek safer places to live. The first tamale runs to a prairie where she builds a casita out of sagebrush. The second tamale builds his casita out of cornstalks. The third tamale finds herself in the desert where she builds a casita out of a cactus with prickly thorns. All is well with the tamales until Señor Lobo, the Big Bad Wolf, comes calling at their doorsteps, threatening to blow their casitas from “here to Laredo.” Docampo’s oil-on-paper illustrations add dimension to the story and bring the three little tamales to life. An excellent addition to collections of fairy-tale retellings. Grades K-3. --Shauna Yusko

About the Author

Author Eric A. Kimmel is well known for the tales he has retold from around the world. Some of his best-known titles are Hershel and the Hanukkah Goblins (a Caldecott Honor book), Gershon’s Monster, Anansi and the Talking Melon, and The Runaway Tortilla. A former professor of children’s literature, he lives in Portland, Oregon.

Valeria Docampo is a graduate of the University of Buenos Aires with a degree in graphic design and visual communication. In 2008, she was one of thirty Argentinian artists whose work was exhibited at the international Bologna Children’s Book Fair.

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Customer Reviews

My five year old son loves this book.
m.j. joyce
His text flows well and he sprinkles Spanish words in easily without changing the rhythm.
Kara Lynn Russell
My kids loved this funny little three pigs tale with the tamales!
DGood1

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Jason Kirkfield VINE VOICE on April 15, 2013
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Jewish author Eric Kimmel has a soft spot for southwestern-inspired takeoffs of classic fairy tales. Here he spices up The Three Little Pigs.

=== I'll huff and I'll puff
=== like a Texas tornado
=== and blow your casita
=== from here to Laredo!

Argentinian artist Valeria Docampo (The Library Pages), is ready to mark her mark on the American market. Her winsome illustrations, rendered in oil, make this story. Señor Lobo here seems very much inspired by Wile E. Coyote, while I prefer the Big Bad Wolf characterization from Little Red Hot.

Perhaps this retelling is not quite as original in its unoriginality as some of Kimmel's other efforts. My favorite "Three Little Pigs" is still The True Story of the Three Little Pigs from fractured fairly tale king Jon Scieszka.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Grady Harp HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on May 2, 2013
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This well-written (by Eric A. Kimmel) and well-illustrated (by Valeria Docampo) parody of the traditional Three Little Pigs who each build houses under threat of destruction by the Big Bad Wolf this time around the `Three' are replaced by Three Little Tamales born in the Texas taqueria owned by Tia Lupe and Tio José. Prompted by an escaping tortilla who informs the little tamales they will be eaten unless they escape, the Three Little Tamales leave. One by one they decide where they want to live - in the sagebrush, in a cornfield and in a cactus patch. They each build casitas of the surrounding materials and when Señor Lobo, the Big Bad Wolf, approaches he is able to blow away the sagebrush house, the cornstalk house, but not the cactus house - in which the three little tamales have gathered for protections. When Señor Lobo climbs down the chimney he lands in the pot the Little Tamales have set for him and he escapes being made into a lobo tamale and the friends of the Three Little Tamales have a fiesta.

Not only is the story fun to read and exceptionally well designed and presented, but this is a chance to provide cultural exchanges for children at the highest and most accessible level! Very well done. Grady Harp, May 13
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By crazyoaks VINE VOICE on May 11, 2013
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This story is based on the story of the three little pigs. The tamales do not want to be eaten so they run away. One builds a home in the sagebrush, one in the cornfield, and one in the cactus. Senor Lobo, the wolf huffs and puffs like a Texas tornado and threatened to blow the casitas to Laredo.

A picture book needs to be fun to read so that children will want to re-read it. This language in this book is part prose and part poetry. There is a glossary at the front to help pronounce the Spanish words.

The illustration in pictures books should match the text. The illustrator Valeria Decampo has created multicolored pictures of scenes that help the reader visualize the story. Even the end pages have cactus drawings. This book has pictures that children will want to copy and make stories of their own.

I can see so many uses for this picture book. First just to enjoy reading the story, second it would make a great reader's theater. If you are a teacher with a fairy tale thematic unit or stories with a Texas theme or Mexican heritage unit, then you need this book. There are a few references to Laredo and a Texas tornado, but other than that this book could be in any state where there is corn or sagebrush.

I like this book so much that I will be looking for Eric Kimmel's other book about the runaway tortilla.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By OutlawPoet TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on May 28, 2013
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This isn't my favorite of the author's retellings. While I'd consider myself a fan of the author, this one just didn't live up to my expectations.

As usual, the illustrations are really cute. The Three Little Tamales are adorable and Señor Lobo is perfect. Unfortunately, the story is just The Three Little Pigs. I kept waiting for something different that would set it apart, but there really wasn't anything. Replace the pigs with tamales. Replace the materials used for the houses with materials available in the Southwest and that's about it.

I appreciate the integration of Southwest and Latino culture/language into the story and the little repeated poem in the book was cute, but there were no surprises for the resident five-year-old (or her mom).

Still a cute book, but missing that spark that I'm used to from the author!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Ellie VINE VOICE on April 10, 2013
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This is our second book by this author/illustrating pair, the first being The Three Cabritos. Our toddler son and our family have really enjoyed both. As with the Three Cabritos, the Three Little Tamales is a fresh take on the traditional tale it's telling; in this case, the three little pigs. Instead of building houses made of straw, wood and brick, the three little tamales build houses of corn, sagebrush and cactus. The rhymes are clever, the artwork is detailed and enjoyable and the books are nice southwestern set fairy tales. Well worth the reading.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By m.j. joyce on October 29, 2009
Format: Hardcover
My five year old son loves this book. He loves to repeat the dialogue between the wolf and the tamales...so funny. And it is a great book to read aloud to your children 'cause you can make the characters have more personality...my son is rolling by the time we finish this book each night. Nice way to end the day -laughing together :)
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