cover image The Three Little Pigs: An Old Story

The Three Little Pigs: An Old Story

Margot Zemach. Farrar Straus Giroux, $14 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-374-37527-0

Purists will appreciate this grisly version of the classic tale. There's no running to the safety of the third pig's brick house for little pigs one and two in this version. Here, when the wolf blows down their homes, he eats their inhabitants``Yumm-yum!'' Caldecott Medal-winner Zemach's robust, earth-toned rendering includes the wolf's efforts to trick the third pig into coming out of the house before he finally climbs down the brick chimney: ``That night, the third little pig had wolf soup for supper. Yumm-Yum!'' With unquestionable artistry, her final illustration depicts the third pig at his humble table, tucking into his stew, bones strewn at his feet and a fluffy wolf tail poking out of the stew pot. Adults accustomed to toned-down, cleaned-up versions of this story may have trouble with that kind of graphic depiction, but children, who tend to digest fairy tale violence with ease, will probably relish this volume. Michael di Capua Books. Ages 3-up. (Dec.)