What if the three little pigs' mother warned them about the big, bad wolf so that they could plan for—and even count on—his huffing and puffing? In this creative retelling, readers will be just as astonished as the wolf to discover how each pigs' strategic engineering unexpectedly leads to the familiar happy ending. Award-winning master etcher Arthur Geisert returns to his Clayton County, Iowa trilogy in this follow-up to Pumpkin Island. But this time, Geisert is back with his legendary pigs, whose remarkable resourcefulness and can-do spirit saved the day in Ice and The Giant Seed! Paired with Geisert's inventive and intricate illustrations, debut talent Lisa Pope Wilke's understated and droll text is sure to surprise and delight.
“Struggling to keep her family afloat, a mother pig tells her three children that they have to seek their own fortunes. The classic narrative framework is here: The wolf tries to eat each pig at a house made out of grass bundles, a house made of ‘a large pile of construction materials,’ and one that is a ‘stately castle.’ But each pig has a calculated plan for thwarting the wolf, who eventually slinks back home. The pigs’ clever constructions, conveyed in Geisert’s trademark detailed illustrations, will enthrall children who love to build things (or take them apart): There’s a complicated mechanism for blasting the wolf with flour; a house under construction that puts itself together when the wolf huffs on it; and one that releases an ‘intricate alarm system of horns and whistles’ when the wolf puffs on it. The illustrations, hand-colored copperplate etchings, have a distinct and inviting texture… Vivid descriptors are used to bring the wolf’s exertions to the page: ‘Famished and desperate, the Big Bad Wolf huffed and puffed and blew mightily.’ The worldbuilding in the illustrations is thoughtful and elaborate and will have readers poring over the pages. An entertaining delight for (nonpig) budding engineers everywhere.” —Kirkus Reviews