The Three Little Aliens and the Big Bad Robot

( 4 )


GREEP BOINK MEEP! The three little aliens are happily settling into their new homes when the Big Bad Robot flies in to crack and smack and whack their houses down! A chase across the solar system follows in this out-of-this-world version of the classic Three Little Pigs tale. Margaret McNamara (How Many Seeds in a Pumpkin?) and Mark Fearing (The Book that Eats People) have created a humorous and visually stunning story that kids will adore—and that will introduce them to the planets and the solar system. The ...

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GREEP BOINK MEEP! The three little aliens are happily settling into their new homes when the Big Bad Robot flies in to crack and smack and whack their houses down! A chase across the solar system follows in this out-of-this-world version of the classic Three Little Pigs tale. Margaret McNamara (How Many Seeds in a Pumpkin?) and Mark Fearing (The Book that Eats People) have created a humorous and visually stunning story that kids will adore—and that will introduce them to the planets and the solar system. The endpapers even include a labeled diagram of all the planets.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
This boisterous galactic retelling of "The Three Little Pigs" pits resourceful pea-green alien children against a skyscraper-size robot. Siblings Bork, Gork, and Nklxwcyz live with their mother "in a snug, cozy crater on a tiny little planet." When their home " too crowded," the kids head into the solar system to seek new abodes. Two-eyed sister Bork finds an unmanned rover on a red planet ("Awesome!"). Her one-eyed brother Gork boards a satellite spinning around a ringed planet ("Whee!"). Three-eyed Nklxwcyz prefers a planet with "thirteen moons, and refreshing breezes." Soon the Big Bad Robot chases Bork to Gork's home; recalling their mother's advice to "stick together," they fly to Nklxwcyz's brick house. Fearing's (The Book That Eats People) collages lend a down-to-earth feel to the interplanetary action. McNamara (How Many Seeds in a Pumpkin?) is faithful to the original story, down to the climactic chimney, but has bountiful fun along the way (" ‘Little alien! Little alien!' bleeped the Robot. ‘Pull over! Pull over!' "). This is no astronomy class, but readers can guess the unnamed planets by description, and they'll have fun pronouncing Nklxwcyz. Ages 4–8. (Sept.)
Children's Literature - Beverley Fahey
Three little aliens have encounter with the Big Bad Robot in this outer space version of the familiar tale of the Three Little Pigs. Bork, Gork, and Nklxwcyz, little green aliens that resemble the minions from "Despicable Me," wave good-bye to their Mama and go off in search of their own planet with a warning to beware of the Big Bad Robot. Ignoring their Mama's advice to stick together, Bork selects a shiny red planet and Gork picks one with lots of rings. Deep in space Nklxwcyz find the perfect spot to build his solid house. But all is not calm in the universe as the huge robot seeks out each of the little aliens and threatens to "crack and smack and whack your house down." In terror Bork and Gork escape to the home of their brother who refuses the Robot entry "by the slime on my chinny chin chin." Straining to force his way down the chimney, the Robot explodes into a million pieces and the three little aliens live snug and cozy in their solid little house for many years to come. As the author explains this is not a science book but care has been taken to depict the aliens traveling past the actual planets and settling on Mars, Saturn, and Neptune in that order. There is originality to the story and energy to the illustrations that carry the adventure along. The inky black background with pin points of light lets the reader know s/he is in outer space. The Big Bad Robot is suitably menacing appearing too huge to be contained in the confines of a book. The inclusion of a refrain reminiscent to that in the Three Little Pigs is a nice touch. Onomatopoeic words in large, colorful font give voice to the Robot. This is a fun stand alone or it may be paired with the traditional story for a compare and contrast exercise. The flimsy sewn binding may not stand up to heavy wear and tear. Reviewer: Beverley Fahey
Kirkus Reviews

An extremely odd variant on "The Three Little Pigs."

It's time for Bork (two eyes, the sister), Gork (the one-eyed brother) and Nklxwcyz (three eyes, like their mom) to go out into the universe to find their own planets. Mom tells them to stick together and watch out for the Big Bad Robot. Bork chooses the red planet, and Gork is enchanted by the golden rings of another, but Nklxwcyz chooses Neptune and builds his house of space stuff and space junk. When the Big Bad Robot smashes Bork's and Gork's homes, they flee to Nklxwcyz, whose house is so strong that the Robot gets stuck in the telescope/chimney and explodes.The three children call mom, as exhorted, and she comes to tuck all three into bed. The green-skinned, red-haired or bald little aliens careen around the starry black universe with jetpacks and clear, round headgear, and there is some faint echo of charm in " 'Little alien! Little alien!' it broinked. 'COME OUT OF HIDING!' / 'Not by the orbit of this ring I'm riding!' " (The classic dialogue varies slightly from sibling to sibling.) It fails the logic test, though: The Big Bad Robot is fearsome, but there really doesn't seem to be a good reason for him to go after these kids.

This one may be too stuck on the arc of the original tale to come alive in its own right.(Picture book. 5-7)

School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 3—With its broad humor and a knowing wink to folktale conventions, this delightful reworking of "The Three Little Pigs" has potential to become a crowd-pleasing favorite. When Mama's cozy house in a crater on Mercury grows too crowded, she sends her three little aliens out into the universe to find a planet of their own. She warns them to stay together and watch out for the big, bad robot: "And call me every once in a while." The youngsters strap on their jet packs, bypassing Venus ("Too hot"), Earth ("Too crowded"), and meteors. When pigtailed Bork spies a shiny space rover, she ignores the warning to stick together and settles on Mars. One-eyed Gork is smitten with Saturn's rings. It is left to sensible Nklxwcyz to travel on until he reaches Neptune, where he builds a safe, sturdy home. And just in time, too, for with "Greep Boink Meep Peeedily Deeep Ork Eep," the Big Bad Robot is on his way. Fearing's hand-drawn cartoon illustrations rendered digitally with collage techniques offer bug-eyed, green aliens and an enjoyable mix of science and playful details. An author's note refers readers to NASA's website for more facts about the solar system. This lively, well-told twist on a classic tale will capture the hearts of a wide audience.—Marilyn Taniguchi, Beverly Hills Public Library, CA
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780375866890
  • Publisher: Random House Children's Books
  • Publication date: 9/27/2011
  • Pages: 40
  • Sales rank: 224,833
  • Age range: 3 - 8 Years
  • Lexile: AD590L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 11.20 (w) x 9.20 (h) x 0.10 (d)

Meet the Author

MARGARET MCNAMARA is the author of How Many Seeds in a Pumpkin?, called "illuminating" by Family Fun magazine and recommended as "a first-purchase consideration" by School Library Journal. She is also the author of the popular Robin Hill School early reader series, one of which, The Pumpkin Patch, was awarded the Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Best Book Award-Gold. She lives in New York City.

MARK FEARING has created award-winning editorial cartoons, animated shorts that have appeared on Nickelodeon and G4, and was a production manager for Walt Disney Television Animation. He is also the illustrator of The Book that Eats People by John Perry, called "irresistible" by Publishers Weekly and a "hilariously dark story" by School Library Journal. He lives outside Portland, Oregon. Visit him at

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 4 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 25, 2013

    Seems weerd

    I like robots but not aliens

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  • Posted March 1, 2012

    Great retelling of the three little pigs

    My son loves robots and aliens, so this is right up his alley. I liked the mini-science lesson - the planets are relatively accurately portrayed. Lots of humor and wisdom in a fun package.

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  • Posted November 4, 2011

    This is what childhood should be made of

    Our son loves the three little pigs story so when we stumbled across this great book based on the classic, it drew our attention. This story includes the requirements of three children sent from home to make their own way in the world, a big bully, and a lesson to do a job right - but along the way we get descriptions of our solar system (Earth is too crowded, Saturn has dust rings)and a plucky smart hero (who happens to wear glasses). A great retelling of the classic!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 27, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

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