School Library Journal
(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
PreS-K-Everyone knows the story of the three little pigs. They build houses. The wolf huffs and puffs and blows them down-well, twice. But why are Rueda's pigs reading recipe books like The Oink of Cooking? This singular mystery-to be solved on the final page-is a satisfying ingredient in the story, along with its simple, captivating text and layout. The cutout cover frames three adorable, smiling porkers. One sturdy white page contains the large-print words: "First pig building a house." A funny, colored pen-and-ink illustration of a straw house taking shape through the exertions of a struggling pink pig appears on the opposite page. Each time one of the threesome is happily installed in his new home, readers find, "One wolf huffing and puffing," and then, in huge letters, "HUFF & PUFF." (A hole in the middle of the ampersand lets children peek at the consequences.) Very young readers will get a kick out of taking the wolf's part, and their parents will appreciate that the scariest bits of the original tale have been omitted.-Susan Weitz, formerly at Spencer-Van Etten School District, Spencer, NY (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
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With a series of die-cut holes and prompts, Rueda (My Little Polar Bear) invites readers to first play the part of a Big Bad Wolf (hence the title), then discover that they're not being so villainous after all. Rueda pares the original story down to the bare essentials ("First pig building a house. First pig inside the house. One wolf huffing and huffing"). Small die-cut holes in the "huff and puff" pages invite readers to show off their lungpower, and a page turn reveals the destructive results ("First pig is not happy"). At the third pig's brick house, however, readers learn that the wolf isn't so much a menace as a nuisance-it becomes clear that each of the three pigs built a house in order to bake a birthday cake for the wolf, who keeps spoiling their plans. Rueda offers few clues to what she's up to, so readers will have to be particularly attuned to nuance. But the novelty of mild interactivity, coupled with comically minimalist text, should ameliorate any minor frustrations with the storytelling. Ages 2-6. (Mar.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.
Colombian writer-illustrator Rueda presents the tale of the three little pigs as a young child might tell it, with short phrases, plenty of huffing and puffing, and an improvised conclusion. Stretching across four double-page spreads, here's the first little pig segment of the story: First pig building a house. / First little pig inside the house. / One wolf huffing and puffing. / HUFF & PUFF. / First pig is not happy. The right-hand HUFF & PUFF page includes a round hole in the ampersand, inviting children to stand in for the wolf (who never appears in the illustrations) and blow the house down. A turn of the page shows the disgruntled little pig still standing, mixing bowl in hand, as the straw settles around him. After trips to the stick house and the brick house, the story ends happily for pigs and wolf alike. Simple but wonderfully expressive, the illustrations are ink drawings with pale washes of tan, pink, yellow, and blue. A beautifully designed and wholly engaging picture book for young children.--Phelan, Carolyn Copyright 2010 Booklist