Wiesner, David. 2001. THE THREE PIGS. New York, NY; Clarion Books. ISBN 9780618007011.
The book starts out with the basic story of the Three Little Pigs as we all know it, the repetitive lines drawing children in. Midway, the story takes a twist as the pigs break out of the storybook and explore a different world, meeting up with other familiar characters, such as the cow who jumped over the moon and the cat and the fiddle.
This is the story of the three pigs as not seen before, the traditional tale, with a twist. The traditional tale is illustrated with flat, simple illustrations, transforming into incredibly detailed, almost lifelike illustrations as the pigs make their way out of the pages of the book. The illustrations are done in watercolor, gouache, pencil, colored pencil, and colored inks, per the verso page. The lifelike images help the story become more alive as the unexpected takes place. The theme of good triumphs over evil is preserved, but with a bit of humor and fun thrown in. The fun, silly and lighthearted theme makes the familiar story comforting, but allows children to embellish and use their imaginations.
This adaptation offers a wonderful chance for dialogic reading in literacy. Being the story has been “hijacked” much of it is now open to interpretation in the pictures and oft wordless pages. The open ended quality of the story leaving it up for interpretation and the ability to create a story as desired.
Caldecott Medal Award 2002
ALA Notable Children’s Book 2002
BOOKLIST starred review: “Wiesner’s latest is a post-modern fantasy for young readers that takes Scieszka’s fragmentation a step further: it not only breaks apart and deliciously reinvents the pigs’ tale, it invites readers to step beyond the boundaries of story and picture book altogether.”
PUBLISHER’S WEEKLY: “brilliant use of white space and perspective (as the pigs fly to the upper right-hand corner of a spread on their makeshift plane, or as one pig’s snout dominates a full page) evokes a feeling that the characters can navigate endless possibilities–and that the range of story itself is limitless.”
Pairing this book with Jon Sciezscka’s THE TRUE STORY OF THE THREE LITTLE PIGS would give the same story told from the wolf’s point of view