cover image The Three Little Pigs

The Three Little Pigs

Steven Kellogg. HarperCollins Publishers, $16.99 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-688-08731-9

Buoyant pictures and a pun-riddled text add gusto to Kellogg's lighthearted humor as he gives this classic caper more twists than are found in the average pig's tail. Pushing her waffle-making machine from ""hamlet to hamlet,"" industrious Serafina Sow makes enough money to send her three little pigs--a daughter and two sons--to Hog Hollow Academy. When she retires, the educated piglets build their fabled houses and run the wafflery until Tempesto the wolf (wearing a ""Say Yes to Thugs"" sweatshirt) arrives and instructs them to ""butter yourselves and hop on the griddle."" Serafina returns to bail out her brood and, in a final play on words, answers Tempesto's threat that ""You'll soon be sausages!"" with a triumphant ""You'll soon be a WOLFFLE!"" But the wry tale ends on a sunny note: rather than becoming brunch, this not-so-bad wolf gets to swap places with Serafina on a remote beach, sporting a new shirt (shown on the back cover) that proclaims ""Thugs Need Hugs Too."" Kids will have a jolly time poring over the particulars in the illustrations. And their mothers will cheer for Kellogg's decision to let his porcine matriarch hog the show. Ages 5-up. (Sept.)