cover image Ziggy Piggy and the Three Little Pigs

Ziggy Piggy and the Three Little Pigs

Frank Asch. Kids Can Press, $14.95 (32pp) ISBN 978-1-55074-515-3

Traditionally, the story of the Three Little Pigs is about the triumph of industriousness and diligence. But in this update, the hero is a nonconformist pig number four named Ziggy, who sleeps under the stars and prefers the beach to being locked safely indoors. Asch heightens the danger of the original by allowing the Wolf to blow down the third pig's brick house, but deprives the audience of a suitable comeuppance. The quartet merely eludes the Wolf rather than vanquishing him--they hop on a raft that Ziggy has built, and the Wolf huffs and puffs the craft and its crew ""far out to sea"" where he can't reach them. ""We sure are glad you went to the beach today,"" the three porcine brothers tell Ziggy as they all enjoy a swim at the book's rather limp conclusion. Asch's computer-generated drawings are rendered in a chipper pastel palette, but the characterizations (only their clothes distinguish one pig from the next) have a wooden feel. They lack the charm and individuality of the mother-child duo in his Good Night, Baby Bear (reviewed above). Ages 3-7. (Sept.)