The True Story of the Three Little Pigs

True Story of the 3 Little Pigs - cover

The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs

text by Jon Scieszka

illustrations by Lane Smith

New York: Viking Penguin, 1989

28 pp.

Age: 6+

Interests: twisted fairy tales, crime and punishment, wolves

Next: The Three Pigs by David Wiesner (another weird take on the story); The Adventures of the Dish and the Spoon by Mini Grey (a modern rewrite of a nursery rhyme with lots of crime and violence)

Also by this author and illustrator: The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales; Squids Will Be Squids; Math Curse; Science Verse

The famous story is retold from Alexander T. Wolf’s perspective. You see, he wanted to bake a cake for his dear, sick granny, but he was out of sugar so went to borrow some from his neighbours the pigs. Unfortunately he has a bad cold, and their houses are just so flimsy… The Wolf accidentally sneezes the straw house down. As he surveys the destruction, he spots the first little pig, dead as a doornail.

“It seemed like a shame to leave a perfectly good ham dinner lying there in the straw. So I ate it up.”

The same thing happens with the stick house pig. The third pig calls the police and by the time the newspapers get through with the story, everyone thinks the wolf is Big, Bad and Guilty. He is shipped off to the Pig Penitentiary, but to this day he insists he was framed.

A very funny story with hilarious illustrations by Lane Smith. Mr. Wolf is depicted as bespectacled, well-mannered and timid – though he does give a spirited defense of the carnivorous diet:

“Hey, it’s not my fault wolves eat cute little animals like bunnies and sheep and pigs. That’s just the way we are. If cheeseburgers were cute, folks would probably think you were Big and Bad too.”

The Pigs, in comparison to the gentlemanly wolf, are rude and downright unneighbourly.  Was Mr. Wolf unjustly framed? It’s up to the reader to decide.

Besides the comedic value, this story interestingly introduces the idea that there are two sides to every story, as well as the very modern lesson that you can’t believe everything you read in the newspaper!

(available at amazon.com)

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All writings posted here are © Kim Thompson, unless otherwise indicated. For all artwork on this site, copyright is retained by the artist.