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The Three Pigs Hardcover – April 23, 2001

3.9 out of 5 stars 169 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Once upon a time three pigs built three houses, out of straw, sticks, and bricks. Along came a wolf, who huffed and puffed... So, you think you know the rest? Think again. With David Wiesner at the helm, it's never safe to assume too much. When the wolf approaches the first house, for example, and blows it in, he somehow manages to blow the pig right out of the story frame. The text continues on schedule--"...and ate the pig up"--but the perplexed expression on the wolf's face as he looks in vain for his ham dinner is priceless. One by one, the pigs exit the fairy tale's border and set off on an adventure of their own. Folding a page of their own story into a paper airplane, the pigs fly off to visit other storybooks, rescuing about-to-be-slain dragons and luring the cat and the fiddle out of their nursery rhyme.

Wiesner, Caldecott Medal recipient for Tuesday, and Caldecott Honor winner for both Sector 7 and Free Fall, prefers not to wait around until pigs fly. He gives them wings (or paper airplanes) and sets them on their way! In his latest flight of fancy, Wiesner uses shifting illustration styles and fonts to startle complacent readers into an imaginary world even as they ponder the conventional structure of story. His trademark crafty humor and skewed perspectives will tickle readers pink (even the nonporcine variety)! (Ages 4 and older) --Emilie Coulter

From Publishers Weekly

Even the book's younger readers will understand the distinctive visual code. As the pigs enter the confines of a storybook page, they conform to that book's illustrative style, appearing as nursery-rhyme friezes or comic-book line drawings. When the pigs emerge from the storybook pages into the meta-landscape, they appear photographically clear and crisp, with shadows and three dimensions. Wiesner's (Tuesday) 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. Ages 5-up.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 7 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 3
  • Series: Caldecott Medal Book
  • Hardcover: 40 pages
  • Publisher: Clarion Books (April 23, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0618007016
  • ISBN-13: 978-0618007011
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 11.8 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (169 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #26,555 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Heidi Anne Heiner VINE VOICE on April 8, 2001
Format: Hardcover
In the blurb about the author, we are reminded of the wonderful ending to one of Wiesner's earlier books, "Tuesday," in which pigs fly (since frogs fly, too). Now the pigs get their own book and we can all be grateful for this new adventure.
At first, this book appears to be a beautifully illustrated retelling of the fairy tale classic, "The Three Little Pigs." But when the wolf blows one of the pigs out of the story, we quickly join the pigs on an unusual journey in which pigs fly, a cow jumps over the moon, and a dragon becomes a pig's best friend. The story is not predictable and the clever illustrations will require many rereadings to catch all of their nuances.
Wiesner's humor and gorgeous art will entertain children and any adult lucky enough to join in on the fun. This book will also make a great companion to another fractured fairy tale, Jon Scieszka's "The True Story of the Three Little Pigs."
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Format: Hardcover
Everyone knows the story of The Three Pigs. They build their houses of straw and wood and brick. The big bad wolf comes and huffs and puffs and... David Wiesner has taken this old tale and given it a clever and very inventive twist. Instead of being eaten, the pigs escape, take their book apart to confuse and keep the wolf away, build a paper airplane and fly off on a fairy tale adventure of their own. Mr Wiesner keeps his humorous text spare and simple and let's his marvelous artwork tell the story. Youngster's imaginations will soar as they examine the colorful, expressive and detailed illustrations. Perfect for children 4-8, The Three Pigs tells an old familiar story in a new, creative and innovative way and is a MUST for all home libraries.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Wow! This is one great book both for children and adults. The story is not The Three Little Pigs that we all know so well, but a postmodern version called The Three Pigs that expands laterally and not chronologically. The Three Little Pigs is a traditional modern tale whose moral is to postpone pleasure and protect yourself. The characters are flat, the story predictable, and, once you know it, dull. Here, in the postmodern version, the characters are multidimentional and the story not predictable. In fact, the pigs fall out of the text, complain about being eaten by the wolf, go on a paper airplane ride, meet up with the cat in the fiddle and a dragon, cutting across many different levels of culture. Adults may be puzzled, but the kids catch on right away and love it. Encouraged by the power of imagination, the kids start to make up their own versions. Parents, fear not. The pigs in David Wiesner's award winning version - all three of them - end up back at home in the brick house safe from the wolf and in famous company (dragon and cat), living happily ever after together.
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Format: Hardcover
I always thought of David Wiesner as the Magritte of the children's picture book world. Now, having read his delightful, "The Three Pigs", I see that he's far more innovative than I'd suspected. If this book had been proposed to a book editor, say, twenty years ago it probably would have been discarded as an idea that was "too sophisticated" for schoolchildren. I mean, prior to "The Three Pigs" what other book has ever dared to challenge the notion of the fourth wall? Mr. Wiesner's delightfully post-modern picture book is possibly one of the most intelligent stories you may ever read to your kids. And best of all, they'll love it. Deeply.

I think we're all familiar with the story of the three little pigs. Three pigs build houses of their own. The first is made of straw, the second of sticks, and the third of bricks. Then a big bad wolf comes along and blows the first house down. And that's when things start to get interesting. Instead of eating the pig (as the text instructs) the wolf is baffled to find the pig gone. In fact, Pig #1 has inadvertently been blown into the white margins of his own story. Able now to travel freely around the static pictures of his tale, Pig #1 has his two brothers join him in the margins. They construct one of the story's pictures into a paper airplane and fly it about. They walk in and out of other stories, making new friends along the way. Finally, it's time to return home and the pigs know the perfect way to make their tale have a happy ending.

First of all, this is a great way to get kids to question the very basic construction of all stories. If these pigs can escape their own fate, why not characters in other picture books as well? Wiesner has cleverly eschewed the idea of having the pigs appearing the same at all times.
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Format: Hardcover
David Wiesner comes from the Chris Van Allsburg school of writing for children. Like Van Allsburg, his books are highly creative and imaginative, the story is absorbing and entertaining, and, quite apart from all that, the illustrations are in a class of their own-stark and startling yet warm and accessible.
The Three Little pigs starts out as the classic story but then diverts down a very different, utterly delightful path before returning-sort of-to the traditional ending. The work, taken as a whole, is captivating and engrossing for child and adult alike. And, finally, like all great children's fiction, this is the sort of book one does not tire of-you are always ready to dive in yet once again with as great a sense of anticipation as when you tried it the first time.
I consider Van Allsburg's Polar Express and Jumanji to be among the best children's books ever produced. This book is in both that mold and of that class of effort.
A truly awesome book the whole family will enjoy for years to come.
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