The Three Pigs by David Wiesner

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The Three Pigs by David Wiesner

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Category: Confident Readers
Rating: 3/5
Reviewer: Jo Heffer
Reviewed by Jo Heffer
Summary: Most children are very familiar with all of the well known traditional tales and can probably name the characters in most of them. Have you ever wondered what these stories would be like if the characters could wonder freely from one story to another? Would it just cause mayhem or could is possibly open up a whole new world of new stories?
Buy? Maybe Borrow? Yes
Pages: 40 Date: April 2012
Publisher: Andersen
ISBN: 9781849394055

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Everyone knows the story of the Three Little Pigs, but in this version, when the wolf comes along and huffs and puffs, he actually blows the little pigs right out of the story. In fact, they float across a number of pages before eventually ending up in the middle of Hey diddle diddle! However, they don't find this nursery rhyme to their liking so they move on to a story about a prince who kills a dragon. Having just escaped from their own dangerous enemy, the three pigs realise that they can't possibly leave the dragon to be slain, so they take him with them right the way back to their own story where, with the help of their new friend, they definitely don't allow the wolf in.

There is a lot to like about the way this story is told especially the clever way of combining a number of different stories. Also, many of the illustrations are beautiful and we enjoyed looking at these. From my adult perspective I could appreciate what the author was trying to do in terms of playing about with the narrative but my young daughter did find the book a bit bemusing. She particularly didn't like the way that, as the pigs pushed their way out of the story through the pages, she couldn't read the words. This was because the pages were being folded, or were under others or just cut off by the edge of the book. Later on, towards the ends of the book, the letters were higgledy piggledy all over the pages and neither of us could work out what they were meant to say. She found this most frustrating and I did a little too.

Another aspect of the book that bothered her was the fact that very little happened on many of the pages. Some of them are virtually blank with just the three pigs flying over the white background on a page from their story folded like a paper aeroplane. There are about ten pages showing their journey and she was very impatient to get on to the next part. She did like the speech bubbles that showed what the pigs were saying but these did make things a bit disjointed when trying to read the story aloud.

I think that the problem was that my daughter was expecting a traditional tale and this book was a bit too abstract for her. She did get the idea, but I think she likes her stories to be a bit more straightforward. So, although in many ways this is a delightful and extremely clever book, it was also disappointing for her and not one that she wants to read again. It is the sort of book that either children will 'get' or they won't. Unfortunately, in our case, mine didn't.

You could also take a look at The Four Little Pigs by Kimara Nye and Marcin Bruchnalski, another twist on this traditional tale. We think you'll also like This Little Piggy Went Dancing by Margaret Wild and Deborah Niland.

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Buy The Three Pigs by David Wiesner at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy The Three Pigs by David Wiesner at


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