What would happen if we take a classic bedtime story and make a little funny twist of its plot and characters?
In contrast with the classic story Three Little Pigs, Eugene Trivizas’ The Three Little Wolves and the Big Bad Pig is a more complex, highly entertaining, and well-illustrated twist of this word-known story. Although both stories have the same moral, in Trivizas’ story we see how the wolves work as a team, are not afraid to socialize with strangers, and, like people, have fears to battle.
With dramatic and comical expressions on the wolves’ faces, the stunning illustrations by Helen Oxenbury also show how the wolves work together as a team. As expressed in Kirkus Reviews, “Oxenbury’s splendid watercolors and drawings perfectly evoke both landscape and the members of the questing family; a handsome edition of an old favorite.”
The story begins with the three little wolves at their mother’s house; she tells them they need to build a house for themselves, so they do. They are able to construct four beautiful houses in sequence, first of brick, then concrete, then barbed-wire with metal-bars and armor-plates, and the last one of lovely scented flowers. The wolves are very strong; the story tells how they play lots of sports together, and how they are unafraid to ask strangers for help when needed.
The brothers are afraid of the big bad pig. Thus, each time the pig destroys their houses, the little wolves have to make another one with the help of some strangers. They got the red and yellow bricks for the first house from a female kangaroo that was passing their way. They got the concrete for their second house from a beaver.
They ask a rhinoceros for help for their strongest house, which is made of barbed wire, armor plates, and a metal padlock. Finally, the wolves meet a flamingo who gives them flowers to build the last house made.
The story does not mentioned if the wolves had met those friendly animals before. Nevertheless, it’s a great way to teach the readers to ask for help, no matter whether we know who the helper could be. Even adults could learn from this twisted classic written by Eugene Trivizas.
Like human beings, the little wolves could have felt fear, and run away from it as fast as a shooting star. Instead you would be surprised of finding out how they discover a great way to defeat their fears, and how the angriest, biggest, and worst pig in their town became…well, you will see.
Trivizas, Eugene. The Three Little Wolves and the Big Bad Pig. NY: Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing Division. 1993. Print.