The Three Pigs
This picture book begins placidly (and familiarly) enough, with three pigs collecting materials and going off to build houses of straw, sticks, and bricks. But the wolf”s huffing and puffing blows the first pig right out of the story . . . and into the realm of pure imagination. The transition signals the start of a freewheeling adventure with characteristic David Wiesner effects—cinematic flow, astonishing shifts of perspective, and sly humor, as well as episodes of flight. Satisfying both as a story and as an exploration of the nature of story, The Three Pigs takes visual narrative to a new level. Dialogue balloons, text excerpts, and a wide variety of illustration styles guide the reader through a dazzling fantasy universe to the surprising and happy ending. Fans of Tuesday”s frogs and Sector 7”s clouds will be captivated by old friends—the Three Pigs of nursery fame and their companions—in a new guise.
Once upon a time three pigs built three houses, out of straw, sticks, and bricks. Along came a wolf, who huffed and puffed… So, you think you know the rest? Think again. With David Wiesner at the helm, it’s never safe to assume too much. When the wolf approaches the first house, for example, and blows it in, he somehow manages to blow the pig right out of the story frame. The text continues on schedule—”…and ate the pig up”—but the perplexed expression on the wolf’s face as he looks in vain for his ham dinner is priceless. One by one, the pigs exit the fairy tale’s border and set off on an adventure of their own. Folding a page of their own story into a paper airplane, the pigs fly off to visit other storybooks, rescuing about-to-be-slain dragons and luring the cat and the fiddle out of their nursery rhyme.
Wiesner, Caldecott Medal recipient for Tuesday, and Caldecott Honor winner for both Sector 7 and Free Fall, prefers not to wait around until pigs fly. He gives them wings (or paper airplanes) and sets them on their way! In his latest flight of fancy, Wiesner uses shifting illustration styles and fonts to startle complacent readers into an imaginary world even as they ponder the conventional structure of story. His trademark crafty humor and skewed perspectives will tickle readers pink (even the nonporcine variety)! (Ages 4 and older) —Emilie Coulter