Traditional Thursdays: The Three Little Wolves and the Big Bad Pig

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What better way to celebrate traditional Thursdays than to take a look at a hilarious spin on a classic tale? Eugene Trivizas and Helen Oxenbury use bright and contrasting watercolors to introduce a delightful story juxtaposing the reality of mother nature.
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In this spin-off, three little wolves are told that their time has come to go make a new home for themselves. As they embark on this quest, they are faced with trial after trial of an angry pig determined to make their lives miserable. The details draw attention to the animals’ expressive faces, and their positioning is consistently able to show a very vivid cause and effect relationship. Every time the pig acts, readers can see the wolves’ shocked expressions. The variety in the wolves’ constructions keeps readers engaged and guessing at what the wolves will do next.

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As the wolves create more and more intricate homes for themselves, the pig’s actions become shockingly more intense – personification lends itself to the story through language and imagery in a way that will leave kids in awe at the action that can be conveyed in a two-dimensional lay-out.

No explanation is ever provided for the pig’s resentment towards the wolves, and while it can be frustrating to miss such a vital piece of foundational information, the lack of this detail can be a great way to include kids in the telling of the story. Kids can draw and write their own explanations for how this book’s spin-off was written. Trivizas’ play on the childhood classic keeps just enough of the original story’s structure to be recognizable, adding the perfect amount of alteration to keep readers on their toes. This book is well worth the read for adults and children alike.

– Renee Chen

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