Huff & Puff: Can You Blow Down the Houses of the Three Little Pigs?
Claudia Rueda. Abrams Appleseed, $12.95 (32p) ISBN 978-1-4197-0170-2
With a series of die-cut holes and prompts, Rueda (My Little Polar Bear) invites readers to first play the part of a Big Bad Wolf (hence the title), then discover that they’re not being so villainous after all. Rueda pares the original story down to the bare essentials (“First pig building a house. First pig inside the house. One wolf huffing and huffing”). Small die-cut holes in the “huff and puff” pages invite readers to show off their lungpower, and a page turn reveals the destructive results (“First pig is not happy”). At the third pig’s brick house, however, readers learn that the wolf isn’t so much a menace as a nuisance—it becomes clear that each of the three pigs built a house in order to bake a birthday cake for the wolf, who keeps spoiling their plans. Rueda offers few clues to what she’s up to, so readers will have to be particularly attuned to nuance. But the novelty of mild interactivity, coupled with comically minimalist text, should ameliorate any minor frustrations with the storytelling. Ages 2–6. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 01/16/2012