"This hilarious takeoff is a natural story-hour choice."
The Three Little Pigs take on a new enemy in this hilarious story. The disaster begins when the pigs notice orange juice all over their house -- where did it come from? They soon find out that the illustrator of the book has plans of his own...
Beginning from the classic tale of the Three Little Pigs, this soon moves from the traditional building of houses and running from the big bad wolf to the most unusual interruption of a Voice, who turns out to be the Illustrator. His lack of red paint causes not only pale pigs but sickly green and patterned pigs, while the wolf huffs and puffs away. The angry pigs demand to be let out of the story, whereupon the Illustrator gives us the last laugh, in this new romp with an old tale. Three anthropomorphic pigs in blue coveralls and polka-dot neckerchiefs are stylized porkers with big round white eyes, spike-y ears, and barely a mouth, active in vignettes, while the wolf has a wonderfully extensive range of facial expressions. In contrast, finely detailed pictures of a spilled glass of juice, an empty paint tube, a brush, a pencil, or an eraser remind us that we are in an art world where strange things can happen. 2001, HarperCollins, $15.95 and $15.89. Ages 4 to 8. Reviewer: Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
PreS-Gr 3-Although familiar elements from "The Three Pigs" are included here, several threads are new. A cup of juice spills on the first pig's straw house, causing it to collapse before the wolf blows on it, and the wolf's nose is erased and redone after he slams into the door of the second pig. It turns out that the force behind these events is the Voice, which belongs to the illustrator. He has run out of red paint and so the pigs are white. After making them green, patterned, and polka-dotted, and realizing that with no red paint there can be no fire to boil the wolf, the four characters are given a whole new identity. Children will laugh at the last picture in which the characters are placed into the story of "Goldilocks." The book will be of great help in starting discussions on what an illustrator does. The pigs' expressions are priceless; their exasperation at being the wrong color comes through clearly. Whatley's accessible variation joins David Wiesner's unique vision and masterful technique in The Three Pigs (Clarion, 2001) and Barry Moser's humor in The Three Little Pigs (Little, Brown, 2001).-Debbie Stewart, Grand Rapids Public Library, MI Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Poor pigs! Not only do the Three Little Pigs have to contend with their old nemesis the Big Bad Wolf in the third visit this year, they also find themselves at the mercy of The Illustrator. The first inkling that all is not well comes when a mysterious Voice from nowhere spills juice all over the first little pig's straw house: a dismayed pig stares down at his house, which is partially obscured by an orange puddle and an overturned glass. The illustrator is an equal-opportunity meddler, giving the first and second little pigs time to escape to their brother's house by redrawing the wolf's nose. But the real problems start when the illustrator informs the pigs that they have all gone pale because he has run out of red painta squeezed-out tube of red paint appears on the corner of the page as corroborating evidence. The interplay between the infuriated and befuddled characters and the illustrator continues, with the pigs and the other elements of their story drawn as cartoons and the illustrator's paints and other artifacts appearing realistically on top of the plane of the page. This sort of self-conscious recognition of the artifice behind a picture book is nothing new; recent examples include Chris Van Allsburg's A Bad Day at Riverbend and Jackie French Koller's One Monkey Too Manynot to mention I Love Going Through this Book, by Robert Burleigh. By setting this concept within such a familiar tale heightens the artifice, Whatley (Captain Pajamas) allows children to explore it on one level while enjoying a fractured fairy tale on another. It's a sophisticated concept, though-use it with children who are beginning tounderstand what an illustrator is, and pair it with Janet Stevens's From Pictures to Words for a thorough treatment.