The Three Pigs

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The Three Pigs

David Wiesner
Clarion Books, 2001

From the dust jacket, “Three pigs…Straw, sticks, bricks…Huffs and puffs…You probably know the rest. It’s an old story, and every time someone tells it the same thing happens. But who says it’s supposed to? Who’s in charge of this story? Who gets to decide? Has anyone asked the pigs? No? Well, it’s about time someone did.

“Here, thanks to David Wiesner, is the answer.”

I don’t know if David Wiesner ever read Jasper Fforde’s Thursday Next series, or if Jasper Fforde read Wiesner’s books? Wiesner has that same off-the-wall, so-far-out-of-the-box imagination that it just blows your mind. In case you don’t remember, Fforde’s Thursday Next series is all about an alternate England where books and all their characters have a life & world of their own inside Book World.  Just like Fforde’s characters can go from book to book, Wiesner’s pigs go from story to story, picking up friends along the way before they finally settle back in their own story. Loved the concept, loved the illustrations, loved these three pigs. When you read it, be sure to keep an eye on the wolf. He’s just going along with the story but some of the looks on his face are priceless. He can’t figure out what’s going on around him and even though the narrator says he ate the pig, he can’t find a pig to eat! Too funny. Seriously, too-too funny!

Rating 5 out of 5 paws – I reviewed this book several years ago but I finally got my own copy at a library book sale and thought it so special, I’d review it again!!

Reviewer: simon-locSimon


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5 Wordless Picture Books by David Weisner


5 Wordless Picture Books by David Weisner

Brace yourselves – this is a long one!

Clarion Books, a Houghton Mifflin Company imprint, 2006

A Caldecott Medal winning book, Flotsam is one of the most imaginative and beautiful books I’ve read. It starts out with a boy playing on the beach and after being knocked over by a wave, he discovers an old camera in the water. He gets the film inside developed and is amazed at what the photographs show.

And those photographs – well illustrations – are amazing! An octopus sitting in a living room reading a book to baby octopi and baby fish with angler fish providing the light; a puffer fish hot air balloon; a shell village on the back of a sea turtle; islands that are actually giant starfish; and an anemone town peopled by mermaids and squid. There is so much detail in the photos that I lingered on each page just to see what I had not seen before.

Younger children will love the pictures, older ones will love the detail and all ages will love putting words to the stories.

The twist in the end – well I won’t give it away because it is a total surprise.

Rating 5 paws – a rare rating for a picture book but this one is beautiful and one we are putting on our “Mom, please buy” list.


Mr. Wuffles
Clarion Books, a Houghton Mifflin Company imprint, 2013

I laughed out loud at this one! Mr. Wuffles is a beautiful black tuxedo cat that turns his nose up at all the toys his mom buys for him. Then one day he comes across a new toy – which just happens to be a flying saucer filled with itty-bitty green men!

Mr. Wuffles decides this is his new favorite toy but the aliens inside are freaking out. Their spaceship is broken down and they have to figure out how to repair it while being tossed around by a giant black, furry alien (to them). They escape the ship, run under the radiator and find help in the walls of the house. Inside those walls are ants and a ladybug that help out the little green men. That is where the action really beings! The aliens eventually escape the clutches of Mr. Wuffles and he is very disappointed.

Again, the detail is amazing; the story line is hilarious and original. Mr. Wuffles reminds me of Toby (even though he is orange) and his toys. If he doesn’t want to play with it at that moment, he just ignores it.

Kids of all ages will enjoy this story – take your time with it and savor each scene.

Rating: another 5 paw book! Imagination, creative, original, wonderful – and of course the villain of the book is the adorable Mr. Wuffles. (And on our “Mom, please buy” list!)


Clarion Books, a Houghton Mifflin Company imprint, 1991

Another Caledecott Medal winner Tuesday is about the mystery that takes place every Tuesday evening, around 8 o’clock. On this Tuesday, the sun has set over a pond and hundreds of frogs climb sitting on lily pads rise into the air and sail over a sleeping town. This is a surprise to their fellow pond dwellers (turtles and fish) as well as to roosting birds. As they fly by the houses in town, they peek in the windows to see what humans are doing. They finally end up at the house of an elderly woman who has fallen asleep in front of the television and stop to watch a late night show. Around 4 o’clock in the morning the frogs get chased by a dog but then turned around and chase the dog! At sunrise, the magic ends, they fall back to earth and have to hop their way back to their pond. The book ends with the magic touching a different animal on the following Tuesday.

I liked this book for the detailing in the frogs, from the markings on their skin to their expressions. The story is simpler that the previous two books (and the following one) but no less enchanting. Since the story takes place at night this would be a good bedtime story, sure to set visions of flying amphibians floating through your dreams!


Rating: 4 paws for flying frogs.


Sector 7
Clarion Books, a Houghton Mifflin Company imprint, 1999

A young boy goes on a school trip to the Empire State Building in New York City. As he and his classmates reach the roof they are enveloped in fog. In the midst of the fog the boy meets a very friendly cloud and they are immediate best friends. The cloud takes the young boy to Sector 7 where all the clouds go to get their shape orders for the day. As it happens the boy can draw very well and the clouds start coming to him because they’re bored with the same old cloud shape. So he draws them different shapes to take, primarily creatures from the ocean, and they start changing into giant fish and other sea creatures. The people in charge of ordering the cloud shapes totally freak out and stop the clouds from heading out to the skies in their weird shapes and they send the boy back to the Empire State Building. On the way home he looks skyward from the school bus and sees fish shaped clouds in the sky.

Imaginative and original as usual. Who knew there was a sort of factory in the sky that determine cloud shapes? The story is easy to follow and the illustrations are detailed. While it might capture the heart of someone who loves the phenomenon of weather, it didn’t capture my heart. For that reason alone the


Rating is: 3 Paws. A lovely book, but not one I would read again.


Free Fall
HarperCollins Publishers, 1988

The same boy from Flotsam is in this book (he has a very active imagination!). As the story opens we find the boy has fallen asleep while reading and we get to peek into his dreams. In his dream he meets a chess board come to life with a real king and queen, bishops, and knights. They take him across the chessboard land into a castle that may in fact be a dragon. He meets the dragon in forest and then comes out of a book (with other chess board characters) into building that turns into rocky outcrops and the chess board people are now in miniature (kind of like Gulliver and the Lilliputians). Then he travels through the rocky outcrops on the back of a pig toward a city made of maps. Then back to the rocky outcrops which turn into croissants where he is blown by a windstorm onto a leaf that turns into a swan that flies over a chessboard sea. The swans take him back to his bed. When he wakes in the morning we see all the things around his bed that influenced his dream.

Sounds like a real dream doesn’t it? It makes me wonder if Mr. Weisner had a dream like this and brought it outside his head into the world. Fascinating and surreal the way dreams really are, the story captures the part of us that our conscious brain can’t. This book has the roots of later books in it – like in the Three Pigs, where the pigs not only fly but climb out of books. The dragon in the Three Pigs is in this book as well as in another I will be reviewing another time. And the pigs also appear in another book I have already reviewed today (but I won’t say which one because I don’t like spoilers!)


Rating: 3 paws for imagination and dreams!

feb 26 05abReviewer: Simon

Thank you Virginia Beach Public Library for making these books available to all!

Our branch: Windsor Woods!windsor woods

2 versions of The Three Little Pigs

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Here are two books telling the same story in two different ways. Both cute but see if you can guess which one was my favorite! (Be sure to scroll all the way to the bottom to see my mom’s version of these silly pigs!)

Huff and Puff

Claudia Rueda

Abrams Appleseed, an imprint for Abrams, 2012

A retelling of the classic story, Three Little Pigs, this time with an interactive twist from the reader.

Main characters –

  • 1st pig, lives in a straw house and likes to cook
  • 2nd pig, lives in a wood log house and also likes cooking
  • 3rd pig, lives in a brick house and is happy
  • Wolf, whom we never really see, because he is the reader

This book is definitely for the very young reader, the drawings are sweet but not complex and the wording is simple and easy to read.  I laughed out loud at the ending because it was a surprise. Since the book was a library book I didn’t huff and puff as the book instructed the reader to do (who knows what little mouths have been on those pages!) but kids will get a kick out of it!

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Rating: 3 paws for a surprise ending and cute pigs

The Three Pigs

David Wiesner

Clarion Books, imprint of Houghton Mifflin Company

A twist on The Three Little Pigs, these pigs escape the wolf in a very unusual way. Along the way, they meet the characters of Hey diddle diddle, the cat and the fiddle nursery rhyme and a dragon.

Main characters –

  • Three Pigs, of course, and very clever in their getaway
  • The Wolf, naturally, and befuddled over the disappearing pigs

Secondary characters –

  • The Cat and the Fiddle, curious as cats always are he ends of following the pigs
  • A Great Dragon, whom the pigs help escape from a knight charged with killing him


Mom got this book from the local library and we read it together and laughed out loud it was so funny! She said it reminds her of her favorite authors’ Thursday Next novels (Jasper Fforde). If you have read his work then you might get the hint. I don’t want to tell anything about what happens – it spoils the surprise! But truly, a cute book and one that will easily be read over and over again by the younger set.

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 Rating: 4 paws for imagination and an original take on a very old tale.

feb 26 05abboth reviewed by Simon

Claudia Rueda Claudia Rueda, Huff and Puff

Other books:

Here Comes Santa Cat Here Comes the Easter Cat Is It Big or Is It Little? My Little Polar Bear No 

 David Wiesner, The Three Pigs

Other books:

Mr. WufflesArt & MaxFlotsamTuesdaySector 7June 29, 1999Night of the GargoylesHurricaneThe Loathsome Dragon

I really want to read these books – mainly for the outstanding artwork! I’ll get my mom to get as many from the library as she can and then read / review them all together!

My next review will be of 2 more versions of the The Three Little Pigs!  See you then!

Now, my mom’s version – originally published on her Orangemarmalade blog!

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