The Three Little Pigs (Folk Tale Classics)

Book review by
Barbara Schultz, Common Sense Media
The Three Little Pigs (Folk Tale Classics) Book Poster Image
Charming, sweetly illustrated version of classic story.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Educational Value

For generations, this folk tale has taught kids to think about which building material is stronger: straw, sticks, or bricks. Also, the story of The Three Little Pigs is in itself a cultural and educational touchstone that shouldn't be missed.

Positive Messages

Intelligence can be more powerful than physical strength.

Positive Role Models & Representations

The third little pig shows children ways to solve problems with their brains.

Violence & Scariness

The illustrations are not violent, but the wolf eats two little pigs, and the third pig cooks and eats the wolf.

Language

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this edition of The Three Little Pigs is one of many folk tales retold and illustrated by Paul and Joanna C. Galdone. The story of the pigs in their different houses, and the wolf at their doors, is available in many updated versions, including The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs, which is told from the wolf's point of view. But this is a  fine book for telling young children this old-fashioned story. Though the charming, cheerful pictures don't illustrate the violent events, it is, of course, part of the story that three characters are eaten.

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What's the story?

A mother pig sends her THREE LITTLE PIGS out into the world to seek their fortunes, and each builds a house. The first little pig builds a house of straw, but a wolf blows down that house and eats the pig. The second little pig builds a house of sticks, but the same wolf blows it down and eats the pig. The third pig builds a strong house of bricks, so when the wolf comes to the door, he can't blow the house down. The wolf devises several schemes to trick the third pig into leaving his house so the wolf can eat him, but the pig outsmarts the wolf every time. Finally, the wolf tries to sneak down the pig's chimney, but the pig places a pot of water to boil over the fire, and when the wolf falls in, the pig cooks the wolf and eats him for supper.

Is it any good?

This sweetly illustrated edition of the classic story is a faithful retelling, for good and bad. Parents looking for an updated, softer version of the folk tale in which the pigs are all spared will want to look elsewhere, but those interested in an untempered version -- complete with "chinny chin chins" -- will appreciate this authentic approach.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about different versions of the Three Little Pigs story. Have you heard this story before? Was it different from or the same as what happens in this book?

  • How does the illustrator make the wolf look scary?

  • If you were going to build a house, what would you use to build it?

Book details

Themes & Topics

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For kids who love fairy tales

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