From Publishers Weekly
In this cheeky burlesque, the Three Little Pigs tangle with a wolf and an unseen illustrator who is short on art supplies. The tale begins as usual, with the pigs constructing homes of straw, sticks and bricks. "The first little pig had just finished building his house when he heard a splash. `Oops!' said a Voice from nowhere in particular. `I spilled my juice.' " An authentic-looking glass and its shiny liquid contents lie across the cartoon image, drenching the white page and two-dimensional straw house. "The house collapse[s] with a wet plop" before the big bad wolf can blow it down, and the soggy pig scurries to his brother's place. Later, the artist runs out of red paint and whimsically substitutes chartreuse for the pigs' customary rosy tint. The pigs don't find this amusing. Whatley (Captain Pajamas: Defender of the Universe) saddles the book with an unmemorable title that doesn't do justice to his comical trompe l'oeil spreads. Photorealistic paintbrushes, whittled pencils and squeezed-out paint tubes are superimposed on stylized cartoons, and the pigs confront their glib creator eye to eye. All the characters, wolf included, behave like frustrated actors with a maddening director. By interrupting familiar characters with technical concerns, Whatley turns the story into a theater piece in which offstage antics appear front and center. Ages 4-8.
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
From School Library Journal
PreSchool-Grade 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 Reed Business Information, Inc.