In this unforgiving version of the cautionary classic, a scrawny wolf easily dispenses with two little pigs, but engages in a long-running battle of wits with their brother. At the outset, three blush-pink pigs set off to build their houses. The two pigs who build with straw and wood fall victim to a hollow-stomached wolf with mousy-gray fur and yellow fangs. Closely observed details attest to their grim fates; in a postmeal spread, the wolf dabs his mouth with the second pig's blue bandana as white bones protrude from a metal tool bucket and a jar of barbecue sauce (decorated with Moser's self-portrait) lies empty. Moser (Good and Perfect Gifts) then expands on the original. The author's droll product placement calls to mind Wile E. Coyote's preference for Acme equipment (the third little pig does construction with "Wolfe Pruf Cement"). Before the inevitable endingDin which the wolf winds up as stewDthe villain invites the pig on three consecutive outings but gets outsmarted every time. Thus the old story gains abundant visual asides and a new subplot, but loses some of its appealingly repetitive "chinny chin chins" and huffing and puffing. What remain in Moser's tense account are a climactic one-two-three pattern and a constant threat of danger to the bald, vulnerable protagonist. Ages 4-8. (Apr.) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Moser retells the traditional tale in a lively fashion, including the three times the third pig outwits the wolf, infuriating him so much that he climbs down the chimney into the pot, to be cooked and eaten. The first two pigs in this version are eaten up and never seen again. What gives this retelling added zip is the vigor of the watercolor illustrations along with Moser's sly wit. For example, he puts his portrait on a label for Bubba's BBQ Sauce, while the third pig's pot is called Lupus Ware. That fellow is a mean critter, a fair match for the aggressive wolf;his leer as he devours the Wolf Stew with Garlic is a bit scary along with comic. 2001, Little Brown, $14.95. Ages 3 to 6. Reviewer:Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
PreS-Gr 2-With all the amusing alternatives to the traditional "Three Little Pigs," it is somehow satisfying to have a retelling that embraces all the best of the classic. Set amid Moser's marvelous illustrations are the familiar refrains of "let me come in," "chinney chin chin," and "huff" and "puff," and that safe brick house. Pig one and two pay the ultimate price for inferior building materials: a satisfied wolf reclines on the ground, a pail of bones behind him and an empty jar of "Bubba's No Cook BBQ Sauce" beside him. For reasons known only to the author, Big Mama Pig sends her little pigs off on Valentine's Day. Visual humor abounds: "Wolfe Pruf cement," a "Lupus ware" kettle, perky wolf slippers on the third little pig, etc. Though many versions of the story stop with the success of the brick house, Moser continues with the extension of turnips, apples, and a trip to the fair to show just how clever the last little pig is and how foolish the wolf. In the end, the very skinny wolf becomes dinner for a perfectly plump pig. Well written and cleverly illustrated, the book is the perfect choice for replacing tattered editions with inferior illustrations that may be cluttering library shelves or a fine first pick for a growing library.-Jody McCoy, The Bush School, Seattle, WA Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Moser retells and illustrates this story of three pigs who seek their fortunes, only to encounter a hungry wolf. Moser's innuendos and tongue in cheek humor is hilarious and many a parent will want to read this with their child to gain the maximum benefit.
The chubby piglets are very small, the wolf big, bony, and very bad, in this sly retelling of the familiar tale. Moser (Those Building Men, 2000, etc.) relates it in formal language, toning down the traditional story line's violence but adding plenty of biting (so to speak) humor with expressively drawn figures in deceptively sunny rural landscapes. The first two piggies exude misplaced confidence, and though they meet their ends offstage, the sight of the bloated wolf reclining amidst the wreckage between a bucket of clean bones and an empty jar of Bubba's BBQ Sauce (Moser decorates the label with a self-portrait) will leave no doubt as to their fate. The third pig does better, building his house with "No Wolf Brick" and following through with the traditional trip to the turnip field (boiling them in a "Lupus Ware" pot), the apple orchard, and the fair. He is last seen enjoying a tasty stew, made from "My Mama's Wolf Stew with Garlic," wearing wolfie slippers, and sporting a positively diabolical expression of satisfaction. Never has that big bad wolf been better served. (Picture book/folktale. 6-8)