Southwest Children's Literature

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The Three Little Javelinas /Los tres pequeños jabalíes

Book Review:

This story is a southwestern adaptation to The Three Little Pigs. It involves three javelinas, which are distant cousins of pigs, who are dressed in cowboy attire. It takes place in the Sonoran Desert. Instead of the big bad wolf, there is a tricky coyote who follows the javelinas and wants to eat them with red chile sauce. Each javelina builds a house of something that fits right into the southwest environment. The first javelina builds a house of tumbleweeds, but the coyote comes and blows it down in no time. He runs to his brother who has built a house of saguaro sticks. The javelinas didn't know it but the coyote followed them and blew that house down, too. Both javelinas ran to their sister who had a house of adobe brick. The coyote showed at her doorstep, but the javelinas outsmarted the coyote that time.

The author's note includes information about the Tohono O'odham Reservation. Traditionally, these native people built their homes of brush, sticks, and mud. They continue to tell tales about coyotes who are often outsmarted by other animals. Throughout the book there are pronounciation guides for the different words of used in the southwest; for example, saguaros (sa-WA-ros). This version of The Three Little Pigs is a great way to tell the familiar tale and adapt it to where we live.


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