The three little pigs of fairy-tale fame attend a Purim carnival and once again outwit the big bad wolf.
Rishon, Sheni, and Shlishi (“First,” “Second,” and “Third” in Hebrew) live together in a brick house. Following the fairy-tale pattern, each spends more time and thought than the pig before in making a King Ahasuerus crown. Rishon uses purple paper, Sheni uses poster board, gold foil, and glue, and Shlishi’s is a sturdy papier-mâché. Meanwhile, the big bad wolf smells hamantaschen and decides to go to the carnival to buy some. But wait—without a costume, the sinister-looking wolf with his curled mustache, bushy eyebrows, and fancy laced shoes will be feared and unwelcome. So he decides to steal the crowns, with this familiar-sounding exchange. “Little pig, little pig, give me your crown!” / “Not for all the hamantaschen in town!” / “Then I’ll huff and I’ll puff, and I’ll blow your crown off!” The two lightweight crowns blow away, but when the wolf goes to grab Shlishi’s relatively sturdy one, a child dressed as the good Mordechai offers the wolf the evil Haman hat; a bullying lesson ensues. Chernyak’s bright, mixed-media, folk-art–inflected illustrations present an all-animal cast. Unfortunately, at its root this parody makes little sense. If the wolf was willing to steal a crown, readers will wonder why he didn’t just go ahead and steal the hamantaschen?
Irksome and even a bit dimwitted. (recipe, author’s note, glossary) (Picture book. 3-5)