The Three Cabritos

by Eric A. Kimmel Author, Stephen Gilpin Illustrator

An original retelling of The Three Billy Goats Gruff, with a Texas twist. Despite their mama's warnings about Chupacabra (goat-sucker), the monster that lives under the bridge, three cabritos (young goats) are determined to cross the Rio Grande to play music at a fiesta in Mexico. The smallest sibling reaches the crossing first and puts the hungry creature off with the promise of a better meal (his larger brother) and a bit of nervous fiddle playing. Soon, the middle brother arrives with his guitar and makes a similar escape. When the biggest goat approaches the bridge, he requests that he be allowed to play his accordion one last time before being gobbled up. Chupacabra agrees, but soon discovers that the instrument is magic: he must keep dancing until the music stops. Exhausted, he shrivels up into a husk as dry and brittle as a dead cactus. Kimmel builds to this humorous climax throughout the tale. The light tone is matched by Gilpin's glossy, pastel-hued cartoons. The protagonists are depicted with comically exaggerated features. Unlike the vampire-esque creature of modern urban legend, Chupacabra is shown as a not-too-frightening sky-blue blob. Match this fun variant with other versions of the original, e.g., Paul Galdone's classic (Clarion, 1981); stories set in the Southwest, such as Helen Ketteman's Armadilly Chili (Albert Whitman, 2004); or tales about the power of magic and music, like Pete Seeger's Abiyoyo (S & S, 1994).–Joy Fleishhacker


Additional Details

Resource Type
Print Status
In Print
Suggested Grades
Early Years - 3rd
Marshall Cavendish Corporation

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