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BIG AND BAD by Etienne Delessert


by Etienne Delessert & illustrated by Etienne Delessert

Age Range: 7 - 9

Pub Date: March 31st, 2008
ISBN: 978-0-618-88934-1
Publisher: Walter Lorraine/Houghton Mifflin

Delessert’s distinctive art adds a stylish note to this re-envisioned version of “Three Little Pigs.” Afflicted by a huge and arrogant wolf, “taller than the midnight moon” and with “gruesomely shiny teeth,” a group of birds, cats, beavers and other animals join the trio of pigs in an elaborate plan to drive him crazy. Having built two flimsy houses that the wolf smashes easily—luckily, nobody’s home—they construct a third of sturdy brick. The hungry and frustrated wolf, believing that the smoking chimney signals a pig being roasted for him, leaps down the pipe and then soars, flaming, up into the sky “with a most horrible wail.” The plot may not be all that coherent, but it does promote the idea of working together to meet threats, and all of the creatures, from scary wolf on down, positively glow with personality. A good cut above most of Delessert’s recent work, this variant should find a ready audience of young readers and listeners. (Picture book/folktale. 7-9)