The True Story of the Three Little Pigs, Paperback

The True Story of the Three Little Pigs Paperback

Illustrated by Lane Smith

4 out of 5 (9 ratings)


A hilarious retelling of the "Three Little Pigs" by Jon Scieszka.

You may think you know the story of the "Three Little Pigs" and the "Big Bad Wolf" - but only one person knows the real story. And that person is A. Wolf. His tale starts with a birthday cake for his dear old granny, a bad head cold and a bad reputation.

The rest (as they say) is history. A hilariously inventive retelling of the popular story which "Publishers Weekly" called the 'Funniest book of the year'.

Jon Scieszka began to train as a doctor but left to take a course in fiction writing at Columbia University and to become a teacher.

He lives in Brooklyn and spends his time writing and talking about books.

Lane Smith, an acclaimed author/illustrator, has achieved major success in his collaborations with Jon Scieszka.

He also provided the original concept and illustrations for the hit film "James and the Giant Peach".

He lives in New York. Also by Jon Scieszka: "The True Story of the Three Little Pigs"; "The Frog Prince, Continued"; "The Stinky Cheese Man and other Fairly Stupid Tales"; "The Book that Jack Wrote"; "Math Curse"; "Squids will be Squids"; "Baloney"; "Science Verse"; "Seen Art?;"Cowboy and Octopus"; "Walt Disney's Alice in Wonderland"; "Robot Zot"; "Knights of the Kitchen Table"; "The Not-so-Jolly Roger"; "The Good, the Bad, and the Goofy"; "Your Mother was a Neanderthal"; "2095"; "Tut Tut"; "Summer Reading is Killing Me"; "It's all Greek to Me"; "See You Later, Gladiator"; "Sam Samurai"; "Hey Kid, Want to Buy a Bridge?"; "Viking it and Liking it"; "Me oh Maya"; "Da Wild, Da Crazy, Da Vinci"; and, "Marco Polo".


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 32 pages, colour illustrations
  • Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Picture books
  • ISBN: 9780140540567



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Showing 1 - 5 of 9 reviews.

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Review by

A nice book because of its pictures and funny modifications.

Review by

In this clever twist on the classic tale of The Three Little Pigs, the reader is given an inside account on the Wolf's point-of-view of how the story really went down. It turns out that all the poor Wolf wanted from the Pig Brothers was to borrow a cup of sugar to bake his grandmother's birthday cake. Unfortunately, on the very same day, he was suffering from a terrible cold. At the first two stops, his politeness ("Little pig, little pig, are you in?") is met with phony silence or a rude dismissal from within. Both times, he ends up "huffing and snuffing", and accidentally sneezing down the pigs' houses- which, as the Wolf says in his defence, is not his fault, as who in their right mind would build their house out of such flimsy material? In the middle of both messes, the Wolf finds each pig "dead as a doornail." Since they're now dead anyway, and realizing it would be wasteful to just let perfectly fresh meat spoil, he sees no harm in giving in to his carnivore diet. When he calls upon the third Little Pig, he is greeted with further rudeness. Once again, that's when he is overcome with a great sneeze, but the brick house proves indestructible. The Wolf is about to give up and go back home, when he hears the pig smugly call out an insult about his mother from inside. It seems that's the one thing which utterly destroys his patience, and he flies into a rage and tries to physically break down the door. Unfortunately, this doesn't look too good when the police show up...The idea of the infamous Big, Bad Wolf being the innocent victim is definitely original. It's quite ironic how, at the end of the day, a terrible cold and his doting love for his mother could cause the accidental deaths of two pigs, to say nothing of such a lifelong reputation. The circumstances are definitely believable, and make for a fresh and humorous retelling. Unlike the traditional version, the reader ends up actually feeling sorry for the wolf throughout the story, especially as insult is added to injury when he is framed. The only thing to give me pause is not only is death even present in a modern children's story- even in a parodied version of a fairy-tale where the first two pigs traditionally meet their end at the teeth of the Wolf- but that characters' death is dealt with in such a blatantly casual and insensitive manner. True, it's supposed to add to the general humour of the story, but kids should not find the concept of death funny. And I distinctly received the impression that reader and audience are supposed to feel a sense of triumph over the snot-nosed little punks getting what they deserve when they are crushed and eaten. What kinds of messages are these for kids? In many 'kid-friendly' versions of The Three Little Pigs, the pigs manage to escape to their brother's house after both their houses get blown down (incidentally, these are the same edited versions that typically have the Wolf burning his bottom in a cauldron of hot water, then skyrocketing up through the brick house's chimney and into the horizon, never to be seen again, rather than the third Little Pig trapping him inside the pot and cooking him to death), and I believe this still would have worked without taking much away from the whole parody; he still would have been charged with destruction of property and, at least, attempted consumption (murder) of the brothers. Whether or not the Wolf is entirely full of it remains fully open for argument, as there exists no solid proof or evidence in the story to ascertain the truth; all we have to go on is the Wolf's word. This, I think, is probably what makes this story so interesting. In any work of fiction, whether it's a book, movie, or a play, it always makes the story more captivating and intriguing when certain key points are intended to be left for personal interpretation. Leaving the audience to keep guessing and wondering expands interest and imagination, and keeps the story fresh for a good long time. Of course, the general tale of The Three Little Pigs has been around for generations, but this version introduces new audiences to the story and allows them to explore new possibilities and ideas... a key development trait in younger children, especially for problem-solving.

Review by

I love how this is told by the wolf, He tells what really happened to the 3 pigs,it is very cute!I think it is a great way to discuss different points of view.

Review by

Review: This book is about the true story of the three little pigs. The wolf was making a birthday cake for his granny when he ran out of sugar and he had a really bad cold. He went to the first pig’s house built out of straw to borrow sugar. When he called for the pig nobody answered and then he sneezed which blew the house and killed the pig, so the wolf decided to eat him. The wolf still needed sugar so he went to the second pig’s house built out of sticks. When he called for the pig, the pig told him to go away, and then the wolf sneezed again. His sneeze blew this house down too and the pig also died, so the wolf ate him too. The wolf still needed sugar so he went to the third little pig’s house built out of bricks to borrow some sugar. When the wolf called for the pig the pig told him to get out of here, but the wolf sneezed again. The house did not fall down and the pig made a rude comment to the wolf, which made him mad. The wolf was trying to break down the door of the pig’s house when the cops came and arrested the wolf and put him in jail. Genre: FolktaleGenre Critique: This is a good example of a folktale because it is a simple story with fast paced action. It is a story that has been past down from other cultures and retold in many different ways. The setting is timeless. This story could take place in any country or any time period. The characters in the story are pigs and wolves that talk, live in houses, and bake. They have human like characteristics. Setting Critique: The plot in this story moves along very quickly. The conflict is that the wolf goes to the pig’s houses to borrow sugar but he sneezes and there houses blow down and they die so the wolf eats the pigs. The conflict is person to person because the wolf is eating the pigs and the pig’s brothers do not like this. The conflict is resolved when the third pig’s house does not fall down when the wolf sneezes. The cops come and arrest the wolf for eating the first two pigs.

Review by

Great parody to the traditional story. It's told by from the wolf's perspective. Every story has two sides and this is a fun way to introduce the concept to children. Maybe the wolf wasn't so bad? Maybe he had his reasons? It's a goofy alternative to the traditional story and would be good to read before a language arts project where creative writing is involved. The use of page space is nice and illustrations are beautiful examples to show students.

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