THE THREE PIGS by David Wiesner
Kirkus Star

THE THREE PIGS

by , illustrated by
Age Range: 5 - 9

KIRKUS REVIEW

With this inventive retelling, Caldecott Medalist Wiesner (Tuesday, 1991) plays with literary conventions in a manner not seen since Scieszka’s The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales (1993). The story begins with a traditional approach in both language and illustrations, but when the wolf huffs and puffs, he not only blows down the pigs’ wood and straw houses, but also blows the pigs right out of the story and into a parallel story structure. The three pigs (illustrated in their new world in a more three-dimensional style and with speech balloons) take off on a postmodern adventure via a paper airplane folded from the discarded pages of the traditional tale. They sail through several spreads of white space and crash-land in a surreal world of picture-book pages, where they befriend the cat from “Hey, Diddle Diddle” and a charming dragon that needs to escape with his cherished golden rose from a pursuing prince. The pigs, cat, and dragon pick up the pages of the original story and return to that flat, conventional world, concluding with a satisfying bowl of dragon-breath-broiled soup in their safe, sturdy brick house. The pigs have braved the new world and returned with their treasure: the cat for company and fiddle music, the dragon’s golden rose for beauty, and the dragon himself for warmth and protection from the wolf, who is glimpsed through the window, sitting powerlessly in the distance. On the last few pages, the final words of the text break apart, sending letters drifting down into the illustrations to show us that once we have ventured out into the wider world, our stories never stay the same. (Picture book. 5-9)

Pub Date: April 23rd, 2001
ISBN: 0-618-00701-6
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Clarion
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1st, 2001




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