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Wednesday, March 20, 2013

The Three Armadillies Tuff by Jackie Mims Hopkins

Hi there!
Welcome back to Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers....the place that breathes, eats, and sleeps books, so feel free to fly your bookish flag high across the virtual land with abandon; I sure as hey am.  ^_^

Today, we're taking a walk back into childhood, or perhaps a clip clop clip clop would be better description, as we take a look at another story do over from an author that shows us she really DOES know what's she's doing time and again.  We introduced her here on the blog with her latest release, Prairie Chicken Little, and a short and sweet author interview.  Now we're back in her curious writing world with a new take on the old favorite starring three billy know the ones...except this time it gets a southwestern makeover.  Grab your cowboy hats and your best pair of red cowboy boots, here comes today's book of choice...

Illustrated by

About the book....

Three fun-loving armadillo sisters—Lilly, Jilly, and Dilly—are eager to cross a busy highway to get to the new dance hall on the other side. To avoid being turned into road kill, they decide to scurry through the culvert that runs under the road.
But inside the culvert lurks a spindly legged coyote with a big appetite for "armadilly chili" and a longing for fine armadillo skin boots and a handbag. The littlest sister, Lilly, manages to fast-talk her way past the coyote, as does her older sister, Jilly. When the coyote sees the size of the eldest, Dilly, she really starts licking her chops. But Dilly Armadilly Tuff is a stubborn gal, and besides, she has her own ideas about what a lonely coyote really needs!

Why did the armadillies cross the road?  To get to the other side....because the dance hall was there and they needed a night out on the town!

We've discussed it before and we'll discuss it again a hundred times over; retellings can go one of two ways: the high road, showing us a new side we never knew...or the wayside, easily or preferably forgotten in the quickest way possible.  This one is DEFINITELY the former!  With a smile and a nod to the story's origins, Ms. Hopkins once again takes a classic we know and love, turns it on its side, gives it a good belly rub, a healthy dose of spice and presents us with a finished bookish dish that is sure to please the reading palettes of a wide ranging audience.  I mean really, how can you NOT enjoy a storybook that combines the classic lessons of old with a happier ending, bringing a smile and a chuckle to the hearts of those within its reach?  I certainly wouldn't know because I DID enjoy it, and feel many of YOU would as well.

My favorite armadilly among the sisters would have to be Lilly for her spunky exuberance and just the way she is portrayed...though Jilly is a close second with her fashionista ways...and Dilly a very close third with her quick thinking and kind heart.  The way each makes it out of the mess they've stepped into is worthy of a two-step (or would it be four step since they are four legged critters...) at the very least, and the kindness that is shown to one that is worse off then they even when they originally intended them harm will have hats dipping to the floor in a show of gratitude.  It definitely goes to show you that a little kindness shown can go a very long way...and sometimes as in this story net you a new gal for your outing!  ^_^

So, in conclusion, if you're not afraid to wrap your tongue around a southwestern twangy accent, and you are whole-heartedly prepared to give voice to each of these ladies in your mind or out loud to a group of boisterous listeners as you're sure to draw, this is most certainly a read for you.  It's a fun twist on a story you only THOUGHT you knew giving us the chance to learn from the three billy goats, sorry...I mean three armadillies once again and for a new generation.  Whether young or simply young at heart, this story can and should be enjoyed by one and all.  The illustrations provide that visual aspect you might be lacking if you've never seen armadillies in action (or for that matter a coyote with a penchant for accessories!) and help spread the emotional aspect of the story; after all, the trio is most certainly afraid when first approached by the coyote...but only just. They knew to use their noodles as well as their hearts and muddle through not only to dance another day but with a new grateful friend.    

Review copy received courtesy of Emily at Peachtree Publishers.  (THANKS!)  For more information on this story as well as their ever growing catalog of bookish wonders for all ages, be sure to stop by their site, read up on the latest news via their blog, pin them on Pinterest, like them on Facebook or check in on Twitter!  Yes, they ARE everywhere, and once you get into the great books they help bring to the world, you'll be grateful for their accessibility; I know I sure am.

Until next time...happy trails to you...and happy reading!


Felicity Grace Terry said...

Oh my goodness, a book I'd buy for the title alone.

Tales of Whimsy said...

I love the art. Great review.

Melissa (My words and pages) said...

Haha, this sounds so cute! And Armadillos! :D Love it. :) Thank you.

Jessica N. said...

Oh my goodness, how cute! I love it :). I think this will be my gift to my 3 year old cousin!

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