Author and illustrator Jan Brett is a name that instantly reminds many people of childhood. Her books, many of which are retellings of traditional folktales, have been treasured by children for generations. Brett’s most notable books include The Mitten, an adaptation of a classic Ukrainian folktale, and Gingerbread Baby, a twist on the original gingerbread man fairy tale.
My favorite Jan Brett story is her African version of the classic three little pigs story, The 3 Little Dassies (dassies, also known as rock hydraxes, are small, furry animals that are native to Africa). Inspired by a visit to Namibia, a country in Southern Africa, Brett has dressed the dassies in colorful dresses and flat turbans similar to the clothing worn by the women native to that region.
Jan Brett’s gorgeous art is inspired by a multitude of cultures, from Africa to Scandinavia, and her stories are timeless. Her work has received countless awards and has been placed on a number of bestseller lists.
If you want more 3 Little Dassies fun, click here and here to download character coloring pages from Jan Brett’s website. To view and print coloring and activity pages from Brett’s other books, click here.