A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
Violence & Scariness
It is mentioned that the wolf eats the pigs, though his eating takes place offstage.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Violence & Scariness in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that the main character, Alexander T. Wolf, tells his version of the "Three Little Pigs" story from prison. (He's accused of killing and eating two of the three pigs.) The wolf presents his side of the story as the truth, but there's also the distinct possibility that he's lying. While adults will undoubtably draw larger lessons from this razor-sharp fairy tale parody, kids will probably just think it's funny.
Is It Any Good?
This send-up of the well-known story makes fun of the tendency to clean up classic fairy tales to suit modern tastes, and the book is a good introduction to the playfulness of parody. It also alludes to how a seemingly carefree laugh-along can coexist with deeper ideas. The wolf's wisecracking set off gales of laughter from a library full of 6-year-olds, but there's also a life lesson being taught: Namely, don't be so quick to judge behavior.
Writer Jon Scieszka and illustrator Lane Smith might well have been separated at birth, so perfectly do they fill any holes that may be missing from either text or artwork. Scieszka's verbal pizzazz, combined with Smith's expressionist paintings, leave no gaps to be filled.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.
Suggest an Update
Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.See how we rate