An interactive board-book version of the classic tale.
Finding a way to present a classic tale afresh is a nearly impossible task. In this version, illustrator Gwé attempts a new take by adding manipulative wheels and sliders that advance pieces of the story. This includes manipulatives such as the transformation of straw, sticks, and bricks into houses with the swipe of a finger and an effect whereby the big, bad wolf’s chest first puffs up and then disappears with his exhalations. By and large, these gimmicks work, but clarity relies on the correct setup of the manipulatives. Otherwise, for example, the door to the third little pig’s house will already be closed when readers come to that page, taking away the dramatic slamming effect. The illustrations themselves are simple and cartoonish. The only humans that appear are three white men who dole out building supplies to the pigs. As is perhaps preferable for the audience, the story is tamer than classic versions: no gobbled-up piggies, no boiled wolf. The simultaneously publishing Goldilocks and the Three Bears, illustrated by Marion Cocklico, contains similar although more diverse interactive elements (lifting flaps, sliding objects, and finger sliders). In this book, the story is all about the movable elements; the text is bland.
This will surely appeal to tots thanks to the manipulatives, but the story itself is good only for providing a foundation for better retellings. (Board book. 3-5)