Children have little trouble using their
imaginations. They understand fairy tales, and enjoy reading and hearing
these stories of adventure and excitement.
Children appreciate fables as well, with their
moral underpinning. The combination of exciting the imaginations of children
and teaching values is a unique talent. David Wiesner takes a very well
known fairy tale/fable and gives it a completely new twist in his 2002
Caldecott-winning book, "The Three Pigs."
As he commonly does in his books, Wiesner writes
about and draws hilarious scenes that will keep children laughing throughout
the reading of the book.
The story begins with the big bad wolf coming over
the hill and seeing the first pig building his house out of straw. The wolf
huffs and puffs and blows the house down. Unfortunately for the wolf, the
strength of his puff has also blown the pig out of the story.
Perplexed, the wolf looks around the destroyed
house and doesn’t find the pig. As a result of this undesired consequence,
he gets no lunch. So he ventures after the second pig, who has built his
house out of sticks.
After threatening the second pig, he blows the
house down. Unfortunately, the wolf now finds that the second pig has
vanished as well. He has joined the first pig. Now the wolf is completely
lost and hungry. Where did they go?
The wolf doggedly trudges on to the third pig’s
house that is made of bricks. As he huffs and puffs, the third little pig
escapes from the house and finds the other two pigs. By now the wolf has
become trapped in the pages of the story book, and the three pigs go on
adventures in other fairy tales. This leads them to flying through the air
and landing the story, "Hey diddle, the cat and the fiddle." But this fairy
tale is too dull for the pigs, so they fly off to another story, filled with
dragons and princes. Much to their surprise, the pigs find that the cat and
the fiddle have joined their escapades.
But this isn’t the fairy tale of the three little
pigs; so how do they get back to their own story? What has become of the
poor wolf still stuck in the pages of the original story?
How can you use your imagination to pop in and out
of fairy tales and situations? Who finally protects the three pigs? Have you
ever saved someone from harm? To find out the answers to these questions, go
to the library and check out this very funny picture book, "The Three
Pigs," by David Wiesner.
The author uses surrealist art in much of his
work, and creates highly unusual settings. Here we see pigs flying through
the air and traditional fairy tales being combined with zany actions. This
book is completely fun, and children will keep laughing at the hi-jinks of
the three pigs.
When you read this book it important to remember
that Wiesner will sometimes write the original fairy tale, but create a
different reality through the drawings. Lest you get confused, the original
words don’t always match what is really happening in the story, and this is
especially true in the second half of the book. The drawings are the true
reality of what has occurred.
You will have an enjoyable time reading this delightful book with your
younger family members. Just don’t laugh more than the children. Enjoy!