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The Three Armadillies Tuff

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In this spirited spin on a classic tale, three fun-loving armadillo sisters--Lilly, Jilly, and Dilly--need to cross a busy highway to get to the new dance hall.
They decide the safest option is 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." 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 with her own ideas about what a lonely coyote really needs!
Jackie Mims Hopkins' hilarious retelling of the classic children's story "Three Billy Goats Gruff" features a southwestern twang and a delightful surprise ending. S. G. Brooks' lighthearted, appealing illustrations bring the colorful characters to life.

32 pages, Hardcover

First published March 1, 2002

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About the author

Jackie Mims Hopkins

11 books7 followers
Jackie Mims Hopkins is a storyteller, a school librarian and a former teacher. She is the author of several children's books, including The Three Armadillies Tuff and The Gold Miner's Daughter. She lives in Texas.

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5 stars
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4 stars
17 (27%)
3 stars
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4 (6%)
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Displaying 1 - 16 of 16 reviews
Profile Image for Abigail.
7,083 reviews173 followers
May 12, 2022
The classic Norwegian folktale, The Three Billy Goats Gruff, gets a southwestern makeover in this picture-book retelling, as the three Armadilly sisters decide to attend a dance on the other side of the highway. Crossing underneath this busy thoroughfare by means of a culvert, the three armadillos encounter a hungry coyote, each one promising the predator a larger meal, if she waits for the next sister to pass by. Finally, when the eldest sister, Dilly Armadilly, hears the coyote's sad tale, she invites her to join her at the dance, and the three sisters give their would-be enemy a makeover.

Fractured fairy-tale fans will enjoy this revisionist take on a classic tale, as author Jackie Mims Hopkins alters not just the species and gender of the cast, but also changes the ending so that all concludes happily for Tallulah the coyote, just as it does for Lilly, Jilly and Dilly Armadilly. The artwork, done in acrylic, gouache, colored pencil and ink by S.G. Brooks, is colorful and amusing, utilizing a palette that matches the southwestern setting perfectly. I would recommend The Three Armadillies Tuff to anyone who enjoys fractured fairy-tales, or is looking for children's stories in which potential conflict is resolved peacefully for all.
1,957 reviews23 followers
December 12, 2017
A southwestern retelling of the Three Billy Goats Gruff. Stays pretty true to the original, up until the ending when they all become friends (through a spa night and shopping? seems a bit of an anticlimax, personally). Some fun word play though, especially with the character names, so might be a fun read-aloud.
Wasn't crazy about the illustrations either. The animals seemed either very cute or very weird.
A clever idea but doesn't quite follow through all the way. So, about 2.5-3 stars from me (rounded up to 3).
19 reviews
September 25, 2008
This parallel story is similar to the goats gruff story. However, this story is about three armadillo sisters that want to travel to the city to go dancing. They decided to travel to the city by going through a tunnel. When the first sister went through the tunnel she met a mean coyote that wanted to eat her. The first little coyote said do not eat me you should eat the second sister because she is bigger. When the second sister met the coyote it wanted to eat her too, but the second sisters said you should eat my other sister because she is huge! When the last sister went down the coyote really wanted to eat her, but she said you look really sad and told her that she needs to go out dancing with her and her sisters and the coyote did and she and the other sisters had so much fun!

1) This book is a parallel story to the goat’s gruff. The students should create a venn diagram of the two stories. This lesson will show the students the similarities and differences between the two books.

2) The students should create a story pyramid when they are finished reading the book. The first line will have just one word that will identify the main character. The second line will have two words that describe the main character. The third line describes the setting. On the fourth line the students will use four words to state the problem in the story. The fifth, sixth, and seventh line will describe one event from the story. The last line will described in eight words the solution to the problem.
Profile Image for Barbara.
12.9k reviews264 followers
August 27, 2011
This is a wonderful retelling of the Three Billy Goats Gruff with a desert flavor. Three armadillo sisters decide to have a night on the town, and they cross under the highway through a tunnel in order to avoid dangerous traffic. One by one, each sister encounters a hungry coyote that they trick into letting them go. When the last sister arrives, she takes pity of the coyote who is as lonely as much as she is hungry, and offers to let her tag along. After a bit of sprucing up, all four dine on garbage scraps and dance the night away. The acrylic, goauche, colored pencil, and ink illustrations are delightful and show off the very different sisters perfectly. I loved Jilly's carefully manicured and painted nails. Young readers will fall in love with the story and enjoy comparing it to the traditional version of the story.
Profile Image for Elizabeth Lauver.
43 reviews1 follower
October 7, 2014
The Three Armadillies Tuff, by Jackie Mims Hopkins, was a very fun read. I would encourage any student with the loves for animals of all kind to read this book. This is also a very enjoyable book for students that are eager to figure out what is going to happen in a book. I loved how each armadillo had their own special characteristics and how they were all different and then when the Coyote didn’t get to eat any of the Armadillies they helped create her into a fun and enjoyable character. I thought that it was really cool how the two animals that prey on each other become friends at the end of the book. I would like to incorporate this book into my classroom by comparing it to the Three Little Pigs book.
865 reviews6 followers
August 1, 2015
A take on the Three Billy Goats Gruff, the language is fun and the story stays relatively true to the original. The ending is a bit of a cop out because they all become friends in the end due to a little makeup and new clothes. Really?? To me, making that so important to girl armadillos and a girl coyote is a little sad.
Profile Image for Becca.
1,316 reviews
March 20, 2013
I wrote up a readers' theater script version of this book and had 4th-6th graders perform. We did this following a lesson on genres, including that of traditional literature. They had to decide which fairy-tale this was based on and what the author changed to create this one.
Profile Image for Brillare.
195 reviews16 followers
May 8, 2008
Cute. Especially fun to read in a suitable accent.
Profile Image for Lisa.
276 reviews12 followers
May 26, 2012
Very Oklahoman spin on Three Billy Goats Gruff.
Profile Image for Andria.
1,110 reviews
January 10, 2015
The kids love to help me tell this story as it is so similar to the billy goat's gruff tale. This modern updated version just gives them the giggles especially as I do voices.
Displaying 1 - 16 of 16 reviews

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