cover image The Three Little Pigs and the Somewhat Bad Wolf

The Three Little Pigs and the Somewhat Bad Wolf

Mark Teague. Scholastic/Orchard, $16.99 (48p) ISBN 978-0-439-91501-4

Teague (the How Do Dinosaurs books) throws his hat into the fractured fairy tale ring with a funny twist on this tale that’s fit for the era of Michael Pollan. When the pigs’ farmer plans to move to Florida, he pays them for “their hard work and send[s] them on their way.” The first two pigs forego solid home construction in favor of vast supplies of junk food (“Sticks are practically free so he had lots of money left over for sody-pop”), while the third pig, a female, readies a brick house that is “big, beautiful, and strong” and boasts a vegetable garden worthy of Michelle Obama. Readers familiar with the original tale will be amused by Teague’s humorous meta-commentary (“I can’t believe that worked!” says the famished wolf after blowing down the straw house), as well as the clever details in his creamy, textured oil paintings (one pig escapes on a Vespa). The happy ending brings the potential foes together, and although Teague gets in some jabs at the pigs’ bad habits, it doesn’t intrude on the story’s sense of fun. Ages 3–5. (May)