cover image The Three Little Pigs and Other Favorite Nursery Stories

The Three Little Pigs and Other Favorite Nursery Stories

Charlotte Voake. Candlewick Press (MA), $19.95 (96pp) ISBN 978-1-56402-118-2

Voake's addition to the library of Once Upon a Time story collections includes eight traditional favorites as well as two lesser-known nursery tales, ``Mr. Vinegar'' and ``Lazy Jack.'' Oversized, widely spaced text--a boon to newly independent readers--scattered throughout with small, pen-and-watercolor drawings gives the volume a folksy, read-aloud storybook allure. Voake's perky narration, filled with the soothing repetitions of phrase that children love, faithfully re-creates the antics of such beloved protagonists as Henny Penny, Goldilocks and the Bremen Town Musicians. Voake's breezy, animated illustrations delineate wonderfully expressive characters--sinister wolves, quivering pigs, a saucy Gingerbread Boy--that accentuate the tales' inherent jocosity. The soft wash of yellow sand greens may seem monotonous at times, but overall the sprightly charm of (usually) happily ever after shines through. Ages 3-up. (Aug.)