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The Three Little Wolves and the Big Bad Pig

Last updated Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Author: Eugene Trivizas
Illustrator: Helen Oxenbury
Date of Publication: 1997
ISBN: 0689505698
Grade Level: 3rd    (GLCs: Click here for grade level guidelines.)
Date(s) Used: Sep. 2008

Synopsis: A talented team ingeniously up-ends the classic tale of the three little pigs, and the laugh-out-loud results begin with the opening illustration--a mother wolf lounges in bed, her hair in curlers and her toenails freshly polished, with her three fluffy, cuddly offspring gathered round. The wolf siblings, amply warned about the big bad pig, construct their first house of sturdy brick, a medium which resists the pig's huffing and puffing but is no match for his sledgehammer. Their abodes become progressively more fortress-like, and the pig's implements of destruction, correspondingly, grow heftier, until the wolves try another tack and weave a house of flowers. The fragrance so intoxicates and tames the pig that he and the wolves live together happily ever after. In his English-language debut, Trivizas laces the text with funny, clever touches, from an ensemble of animals who obligingly donate whatever building materials the wolves require, to the wolves' penultimate, armor-plated residence replete with a "video entrance phone" over which the pig can relay his formulaic threats. Oxenbury's watercolors capture the story's broad humor and add a wealth of supplementary details, with exquisite renderings of the wolves' comic temerity and the pig's bellicose stances. Among the wittiest fractured fairytales around.

Note to readers:
•  The book is longer than usual. On the board, map out the story of the 3 little Pigs and while you are reading this book, point out the similarities and the differences.

Discussion topics for before reading:
•  Have you ever heard of the story The Three Little Pigs and the Big Bad Wolf?
•  How do you think this story will be different? (Open the book so you can see the front and back covers together)
•  What are the wolves doing?
•  Have you ever seen people do this? (Construction workers)

Discussion topics for during/after reading:
•  Why is the Pig bad?
•  Why does the Pig want to come into the wolf's house?
•  What happens every time the Pig destroys their house?
•  Do the wolves do everything themselves or do they have friends?
•  What would you use to build your own house and make it strong?
•  Do you want to live with your brothers or sisters?
•  Do you feel safe inside your house? Why?
•  Why did the last house change the pig?
•  How was this story different from the ending in the Three Little Pigs?

Craft ideas:
•  Build a house out of construction paper
•  Make a bouquet of flowers out of paper and give them to your enemy.

*Note: These craft ideas are just suggestions. You can use them, but you don't have to use them. You can expand upon them, or add your own twist. Remember, though, that the focus of your time should not be on the development and execution of a craft; the focus should be on the read-aloud and the enjoyment of the book!