The Three Ninja Pigs

( 1 )


Practice makes perfect in this kick-butt fractured fairy tale.

Why does this wolf think he can come to town and blow all the houses down? These three little pigs just aren't going to take it from that bully anymore! The first starts aikido lessons—-he'll make mincemeat out of that wolf! His brother learns a little jujitsu—he'll chop that guy to pieces!

But when the wolf actually appears, it turs out these two pigs aren't quite ready after all. ...

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Practice makes perfect in this kick-butt fractured fairy tale.

Why does this wolf think he can come to town and blow all the houses down? These three little pigs just aren't going to take it from that bully anymore! The first starts aikido lessons—-he'll make mincemeat out of that wolf! His brother learns a little jujitsu—he'll chop that guy to pieces!

But when the wolf actually appears, it turs out these two pigs aren't quite ready after all. Good thing their sister has been training every day to master some serious karate moves that save the day. KIYA!

Corey Rosen Schwartz serves up a fun combination of smart-aleck dialogue and tongue-in-cheek rhymes that'll have kids howling, and rising star Dan Santat's spunky illustrations are sure to pack a punch!

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
For young martial arts fans seeking a lighthearted book about their hobby, Schwartz’s (Hop! Plop!) story should fit the bill. While the idea of three gi-clad pigs fighting the big bad wolf is a winner, the subtle-as-a-karate-chop moral about not quitting puts a bit of a damper on the fun. Pig One signs up for aikido (“He gained some new skills,/ but got bored with the drills”), while Pig Two goes for jujitsu (“The teacher said, ‘Excellent progress./ But Pig-san, you must study more.’/ Pig Two said, ‘No way./ Sayonara, Sensei!/ I’m ready to settle a score’ ”). Both lack the necessary chops when the wolf comes a’blowing. Santat’s dynamic, comic book–style spreads have a Crouching Wolf, Hidden Pig feel, especially when Pig Three (a persistent girl who has actually honed her skills) terrifies the wolf with a chop that smashes a pile of bricks. Schwartz’s irreverent verse never falters—and any book that rhymes “dojo” with “mojo” is one that’s worth a look. Ages 5–8. Agent: Kendra Marcus, BookStop Literary. Illustrator’s agent: Jodi Reamer, Writers House. (Sept.)
The New York Times Book Review
"A fractured fairy tale to outcharm the original, “The Three Ninja Pigs” manages to one-up the well-worn story by setting it in Japan, sprinkling it with the language and discipline of martial arts. All in hilarious, impeccable rhyme."
Children's Literature - Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
In this variation of the tale of the Three Little Pigs, the story, told in well-crafted verse, moves to Japan. There three pigs, tired of being bullied by a nasty wolf, decide to go to Ninja school to learn how to deal with him. Pig One begins aikido, but drops out. Pig Two learns jujitsu, and although warned by his teacher that it is too soon, feels ready to stop training. Pig Three chooses to learn karate. She studies for months, earning all the belts. When the wolf visits the straw house of Pig One, unfortunately the pig finds himself unprepared and must run to his brother's house. Pig Two also does his best, but loses out to the wolf as well. The brothers run to Pig Three. Her training pays off. As the wolf flees, they all decide to go back to school and keep life "wolf free." There is a comic sensibility to the cartoon-y style visualization of this parody. On the jacket/cover the trio of porkers are shown fleeing the wolf as he blows away. The end pages, by contrast, depict a stylized peaceful Japanese landscape with red sun, flowers, and snow-capped mountain. Santat's art is done with Sumi brushwork on rice paper completed in Adobe Photoshop. There is a handy glossary. Reviewer: Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
School Library Journal
K-Gr 2—In this fractured fairy tale, three little pigs are portrayed as frustrated siblings fed up with a wolf that loves to huff and puff and blow houses down. In an attempt to protect their homes in their Japanese village, they train at a Ninja school. As the first brother begins aikido lessons, he finds himself bored and drops out, which gives him little defense when the wolf comes to call. Pig Two attempts his skill at jujitsu but his confidence is larger than his capabilities, and he is no match for the villain. Their sister is the only one who studies well and practices until she masters karate. When the wolf arrives at her door, she settles the score and sends him running. Learning a lesson from their gutsy sister, the brothers return to their classes with more determination and success. Unlike the original tale, the pigs are given responsibility for their misfortune and a chance for improvement. The story has a clear message that success requires perseverance. The text and glossary include martial-arts terms. Santat's artwork is in manga style and has wonderful depictions of Japanese scenery and architecture. The pigs are full of motion and emotion as they train and battle with the wolf. Youngsters with an interest in martial arts and those seeking strong female characters will relish this picture book.—Diane Antezzo, Ridgefield Library, CT
Kirkus Reviews
"Dedication and practice pay off," is the message these three pigs painlessly deliver. "Once upon a dangerous time," a wolf plagued a town with his huffing and puffing, so three pigs--two hogs and a sow--attend Ninja School to learn how to face him. Each studies a different martial art, but the two brothers quickly lose interest; the third pig alone earns all her belts. So when the wolf comes calling, it's no surprise when the brothers' skills are not equal to the task. "The chase carried on to their sister's. / Pig Three was outside in her gi. / ‘I'm a certified weapon, / so watch where you're steppin'. / You don't want to start up with me!' " A demonstration of her prowess is enough to send the wolf packing and the brothers back to their training. Schwartz's sophomore outing is a standout among fractured fairy tales, masterfully combining rollicking limerick verse with a solid story, neither a slave to the other. The one quibble is the "Ninja" of the title--these pigs study the martial arts of aikido, jujitsu and karate. Santat's illustrations are done with Sumi brush on rice paper and finished in Photoshop. The colors, patterns and themes nicely incorporate those of Japanese art, and the setting, with its background mountains, cherry blossoms and traditional rooftops, is firmly Japanese. Have the contact info for the local dojo handy--readers will want to try out these martial-arts styles for themselves. (glossary) (Fractured fairy tale. 5-8)
The New York Times Book Review
A fractured fairy tale to outcharm the original…All in hilarious, impeccable rhyme.
—Pamela Paul
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780399255144
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 9/27/2012
  • Pages: 40
  • Sales rank: 71,689
  • Age range: 5 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.82 (w) x 10.90 (h) x 0.42 (d)

Meet the Author

Corey Rosen Schwartz has no true ninja training, but she can sure kick butt in Scrabble. She lives in Warren, New Jersey, with her two kiddie-chans and her incredibly patient husband-san..

Dan Santat holds a black belt in Shotokan. He lives with his family in Alhambra, California.

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Customer Reviews

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