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The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs

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You thought you knew the story of the “The Three Little Pigs”… You thought wrong.
In this hysterical and clever fracture fairy tale picture book that twists point of view and perspective, young readers will finally hear the other side of the story of “The Three Little Pigs.”

32 pages, Paperback

First published October 1, 1989

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About the author

Jon Scieszka

223 books1,248 followers
Jon Scieszka is an American children's writer, best known for picture books created with the illustrator Lane Smith. He is also a nationally recognized reading advocate, and the founder of Guys Read – a web-based literacy program for boys whose mission is "to help boys become self-motivated, lifelong readers."

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5 stars
103,294 (55%)
4 stars
50,512 (26%)
3 stars
25,989 (13%)
2 stars
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1 star
2,338 (1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 3,893 reviews
Profile Image for Anne.
3,917 reviews69.3k followers
January 30, 2023
This is maybe the BEST 3 Little Pigs story out there.
My daughter saw this on our bookshelf the other day and freaked out (she's 9, so cut her some slack) because she didn't realize we owned it. In her defense, it's a skinny little paperback that had probably been lost between 3 bjillion other skinny little paperbacks on the shelves.
Point is, it's an AWESOME story and since I bought it, that made me AWESOME by default.
Mom Logic. Don't argue.


In this version, Alexander T. Wolf tells his side of the story. <--From jail, if that tells you anything.
He's such a lying-liar pants, but his excuses are funny...if a tad see-through.
It's not Alex's fault that he had a cold and sneezed, is it?
And he can't help it if some little porker constructs a house that's so shoddy it collapses and kills him, can he?
And you can't let a good ham sandwich go to waste, right?
No. No, you cannot.


Poor Mr. Wolf. He's not evil, just misunderstood.
Right, Alexander?


This is one of the books you've gotta have in your library if you're the owner of small children. Otherwise, how are they ever going to learn to lie?
Profile Image for Tim.
476 reviews612 followers
April 12, 2021
For the most part, stories take the hero's point of view. This may seem obvious, we are after all supposed to follow them along their tale… and in most cases we are supposed to sympathize with them. What of the villain's though? Does one need to have "sympathy for the devil" as the Rolling Stones might have said. What of their tales? What, for example, is the Big Bad Wolf's take on those damnable pigs?

This was my favorite picture book when I was a kid. While checking out a used bookstore today I saw a copy and picked it up. Upon getting home I immediately went up to my daughter and said "STORY TIME!" This was a delightful change of pace for her. Usually story time was reserved for before bed… then it occurred; was this a trap? Was she going to bed early for some reason? Had dad lost his perception of time?

Fear not, if this was a trap for anyone, it was me. I've never been nervous about reading a story to my daughter before. I know going into every single one that she's going to at least have fun, but this was different. This book is important. What if she didn't like it? MY CHILDHOOD WAS AT STAKE.

I need not have feared. Every time the wolf sneezed she howled with laughter. Peace and order was restored to my little area of the world and I once again got to relive my childhood favorite, this time with the eyes of a dad watching the child discover for the first time what really happened and how that poor wolf was framed.

The injustice is shocking… really.

If you have not read this one, do yourself a favor and check it out. It's actually an extremely funny picture book, fun if you're 3 or 33 or 103. 5/5 stars.
Profile Image for ♥ℂĦℝΪՖƬΪℕÅ.
230 reviews3,933 followers
November 13, 2018

The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs became one of the most popular books in 1989, earning awards, like the New York Times Best Illustrated book. It's also notably popular for its humor. This book, in particular, is narrated by The Big Bad Wolf and he tries to explain to the reader his side of the story as to what happened when he met the three little pigs. This book is really funny and cute and I really enjoyed it a lot. It's one of the best books I ever read as a kid and let's face it, I still love it to this day! The story never gets old so you'll read it over and over. The illustrations are truly a piece of art. They are absolutely incredible! This is a must-read that your kids will love.
Profile Image for Zoë.
328 reviews66.2k followers
March 6, 2021
[Book #36 for my grad school Children's Lit class]
Profile Image for Ronyell.
955 reviews322 followers
June 22, 2013

“The True Story of the Three Little Pigs” became one of the most popular books in 1989, earning awards, including the New York Times Best Illustrated book. Also, this story is notably popular for its wit and humor as Alexander T. Wolf (Al for short) tries to explain to the reader his side of the story on what happened when he met the three little pigs.

There are so many positive aspects in this story that I would enjoy discussing, but the main positive aspects in this story are the writing and the illustrations. Jon Scieszka’s master storytelling is comical and creative as he describes the wolf’s side of the story in great detail, even giving him a name to go by. Scieszka does a great job in relating the wolf’s predicament to the viewers, so that when you read the story, you probably are feeling sorrier for the wolf then for the little pigs. Lane Smith’s illustrations are dark, yet humorous to an extent. Probably the highlights of Smith’s drawings in this book are the scenes of a giant animal hamburger presented in the beginning of the book and the somewhat menacing image of the third little pig inside his brick house as he is drawn with dark circles around his eyes and his eyes are yellow.


Parents should know that the scenes where the first and second little pig gets eaten by the wolf may be a bit disturbing to young children. Even though the scenes take place off-screen and Al reassuringly tries to tell the reader that it’s natural for wolves to eat pigs, parents may want to make sure that their children can understand the natural order of the food chain and handle the eating scenes.

“The True Story of the Three Little Pigs” is a pure classic among both adults and children and features humor that is brilliantly sarcastic and sometimes dark. Also, you rarely hear a supposed villain’s side of the story, even though in this version, Al seems like a nice guy just trying to get sugar for his sick grandmother and following wolfish instincts. I would highly recommend this book for everybody, but parents should discuss the eating scenes with their children before they read them this book.

Review is also on: Rabbit Ears Book Blog
Profile Image for Seth.
7 reviews6 followers
October 24, 2008
This book is so freaking awesome! Everybody should read it- now. Just do it. Just eat it. I mean... whatever. BTW, this is Barbara (Seth's sister )writing Seth's review.
Back (this is Barbara pretending to be Seth)in my day, when I was but a wee lad of the tender age of four or five or something, I was introduced to this marvelous, touching, inspiring, novelty of a book. It changed my whole life, introducing me to a whole new outlook on life.
I read this book so many times (okay, i admit, i had to have daddy read it to me)that I had it memorized. Word for word. because i was a super evil genius with amazing brain power and memorization abilities.
(this is barbara being barbara again)- i will attest that it is true- Seth did have it completely memorized. however, the genius thing and the brain power and all the other things are lies. junk. a barrel of monkey cheese. except the evil part.)
(this is barbara being seth again)So, the moral of this story, er, book review is, this is the most fabulous, morjelictitious book ever. the end. p.s. it really will change your perspective on life and inspire you change your life around and become a better person. the end.
Profile Image for Chad.
7,692 reviews868 followers
April 18, 2020
Jon Scieszka is absolutely hilarious. If you want to know what really went down with the big, bad wolf and the three little pigs, you should certainly check this out. Make sure and read it to your children too. After all, that's who it was written for. They'll get a kick out of it too (as will adults!).

Also, for those of you who don't like to read, there's a 10 min cartoon narrated by Paul Giamatti floating around. I found it on Hoopla.
Profile Image for Jordan.
25 reviews
March 10, 2009
This is one of my favorite books as a child. I always enjoyed the idea that the true story of the three little pigs, was different than what we knew to be true. I have to say even as a child I always liked the big bad wolf better than those annoying little pigs, maybe this was an early sign of my link to liking bad boys. : )
I recently picked up this book again, and read though it. I have to say that many books usually do not stand up to a second read through. Especially if you read the book as a child. However I am glad to report that this book still lived up to the memories I had of it from by childhood. I also have to say that perhaps I was even more delighted with the book in my adulthood, more than I could have ever been in my childhood.
What I lovely writer Scieszka is to be able to write a story that can be enjoyed both by children and adults alike. : )
Profile Image for Erth.
3,499 reviews
February 16, 2022
In this hysterical and clever fracture fairy tale picture book that twists point of view and perspective, young readers will finally hear the other side of the story of “The Three Little Pigs.”
Profile Image for Matthew.
501 reviews17 followers
August 10, 2016
To check out my reviews: http://dancinginth3dark.blogspot.com

I remember being introduced to this book when I was in 7th grade by my civics teacher. She is a lawyer and during that period she wanted to showcase what lawyers do in the courtroom and the jargon terms they use when they prosecute and defend their client. She used this book as the basis and had students play the characters and I was the jury member.

While the students were epic failures in dealing with the court case I treasured this story because everyone and their mother knows the story of the Three Little Pigs and its interesting to see a different point and view and my teacher made this court case look like the O.J. Simpson trial for kids (Plus no one knew the details of who O.J. Simpson was just that he was a football player who murdered his wife and got away with it).

The narrator is the Big Bad Wolf and he mentions how most people know his story but not the facts. Immediately based on the tone of his voice and dialogue I feel as though it may be innocent but he becomes a unreliable narrator and that makes the story that much entertaining. We learn that he was making a cake for his grandmother (Who looks remarkably similar to Little Red Riding Hood so it's possible he's lying and he disguised himself as his granny) and needed a cup of sugar so he went to his neighbors which so happens to be one of the pigs and did I mention he has a cold? Well the straw triggered his sinuses and he blew down the house and killing the pig.

It uses this excuse for his actions until finally he meets the final pig who lives in the brick house and the rest is history and you learn the outcome of his story in the end. I was entranced by this story and I wish this could have been the prototype to a longer story because I would love to see the trial and learn what his lawyers used as defense and who were the jury. Plus this book brings up an interesting aspect as to whether does it stay true to the original fairy tales like Little Red Riding Hood? The wolf gets killed by the ax in that story but the author didn't include it in this book then it possible that the wolf is the same one who tried to kill Little Red and her grandmother.

This book is great for all ages especially for the curious kids and it would be fascinating if family members or even teachers made this story into a court case like my civic teacher because for one its educational to learn how our court works, our rights as civilians, and it's fun to create a story and try to defend it while the other team is trying to discredit your alibi.
Profile Image for Vonia.
611 reviews97 followers
September 18, 2020
This is a hilarious children's classic. I remember it being one of my introductions to the fact that there are other sides, other perspectives in fairy tales. Even at my age now on old almost 33, it was a fun read.
Profile Image for Marta.
996 reviews100 followers
February 15, 2019
I am framed by the media. WITCH HUNT! Fake news!

Ignore the destroyed houses, my bulging stomach and my raging. Taken out of context. SAD!
Profile Image for Janet.
29 reviews4 followers
December 12, 2013
Having grown up with the story of "The Three Little Pigs," when I first read this spoof on the traditional tale, I just had to laugh. The wolf tells his side of the story just like young children always feel it's important to give their version of what happens. According to the wolf, he was not doing anything wrong (what a surprise!) and he's gotten a bum deal ever since the events occurred which are related in the story.

This is a great book to use when teaching point of view. It's easy to see that the story with which we are all familiar takes on a whole different spin when the point of view of the author changes. After listening to this story and perhaps some other of the now popular modern day spins on some traditional tales, it might be a great idea to have your students write them own modern day spin on a favorite fairy tale.
Profile Image for J.N..
1,339 reviews
February 28, 2021
Just as delightful as I remember it being. Lane Smith's illustrations really make the story, but I loved the creativity on the author's part as the Big Bad Wolf tells the 3 Little Pigs story from his POV. Hilarious take on the classic story.
Profile Image for Becky.
120 reviews
June 3, 2014
Many variations of the three little pigs story are told with sympathy for the pigs who are being tormented by the big, bad wolf. In this version of the story, the wolf insists that the entire event was a big misunderstanding. He admits to eating the pigs, but insisted it was after they accidentally died. He begs the reader for sympathy, and argues that judging his desire to eat pigs isn't fair since he can't help his appetite. All tactics of manipulation are employed, including talking about his dear granny and his desire to defend her honor when the last pig insults her. Despite his desire for understanding, the wolf still exposes his anger issues and lack of sympathy for the dead pigs.

The illustrator, Lane Smith, does a marvelous job at creating a grainy, dark world in which the wolf resides. The pictures are various shades of brown and dark colors with cloudy, smudged skys. The wolf's character is never fully redeemed, yet the story and its illustrations show us the perspective and dark world the wolf inhabits.

I enjoy stories from the "bad" characters out of fairy tales. Hearing the wolf's perspective on the Three Little Pigs tale was fun. The pigs and the wolf all seemed a bit shady, so I didn't end up having sympathy for any of them. Maybe I have a little bit of sympathy for the two pigs that died, but I understand why the wolf ate them. He was hungry after all, and wolves are carnivores!
Profile Image for Cherina.
84 reviews2 followers
October 6, 2008
Summary: This is a spin-off of the original story The Three Little Pigs. Alexander Wolf gets his chance to explain his side of the story. Instead of being an intimidating, evil wolf, he went to his two neighbors (the pig brothers) to borrow a cup of sugar. He had a rather nasty cold and so he ended up sneezing so hard that he blew their houses done. When he went to the third pig's house, the pig refused to open the door and insulted his grandmother. The police came and arrested the wolf and the media made a huge story of the whole thing.

Uses: Read aloud to both primary and secondary grades; Read after the original; independent reading for transitional and fluent readers; recommend to those who like Jon Scieszka or those who enjoy absurd stories.

Literary Devices: rhymes, personification, good voice, play on words

Social issues: hearing both sides of a story, innocence, losing your temper

Other: The illustrations help to foreshadow the ending of the story. The pictures also reveal humor and wit if you look close enough.
Profile Image for Chris Ward.
8 reviews4 followers
October 2, 2017
While every child has heard the tale of the Three Little Pigs. Very few have heard the story from the point of view of the poor, germ afflicted, Alexander Wolf
Reading this traditional tale from the point of view of the usual 'baddie,' was very amusing. Particularly, the clever way in which A. Wolf's legendary catchphrase, 'i'll huff and i'll puff,' is twisted into the accidental huffing, snuffing and sneezing of houses down.
From a teaching perspective, this book has a number of possible ideas to examine. For Ks1 students, the fact there are always two sides to any story is a notable takeaway message that could be discussed in P4C sessions. Additionally, for Ks2 readers, students may reflect on how different points of view may influence a reader; along with key terms such as: bias, opinion and fact.
Profile Image for Rose.
1,872 reviews1,055 followers
May 2, 2012
I remember the librarian at my elementary school reading this to my class not once, not twice, but three times when I was a little girl. It was one of the more popular stories/fairy tale adaptations in our library, "The Three Little Pigs" told from the wolf's perspective. I still remember there was one boy in my class who said at the end of the story "He's totally lying." I think we were all inclined to agree.

It was a fun read, I haven't read it in quite some time, but I still remember it fondly.
Profile Image for Miss Meghan's Class.
152 reviews6 followers
June 21, 2013
This has GOT to be one of my all-time favorite kid books and I read it to my class at least twice a week (more so because of the fact that it is the favorite of a couple of kids in the room).

If you like books that don't conform to what everyone believes the true story is, that shows that there are two sides of every story, than this is the book for you.

Alexander T Wolf is the narrator of this story, explaining that he is not the big bad wolf that everyone thinks he is and tells you his side - that it all started with a sneeze and a cup of sugar. Kids love to laugh at the little things that he adds in to the story and make a big deal about how some of the things the pigs said to the wolf are not very nice.

It has become a big hit in my room and is definitely the book that will quiet every child's mouth and bring a smile to their faces. I know that my class sits eagerly waiting for the next page - and my kids have most of the story memorized so they will "read" the book to each other during center times. :)
Profile Image for Vaishali.
1,032 reviews262 followers
March 14, 2017
Snarky and cute! The classic tale told from the wolf's point of view :)

“Nobody knows the real story, because nobody every heard my side of the story.”

“I don’t know how this ‘big bad wolf’ thing got started, but it’s all wrong. Maybe it’s our diet. It’s not my fault wolves eat cute little animals like bunnies and sheep and pigs.”

“I had this terrible sneezing cold…”

“Now this neighbor was a pig, and he wasn’t too bright either… I mean, who in his right mind builds a house out of straw?”

“I felt a sneeze coming on. I huffed, snuffed, and I sneezed… and you know what? That whole house fell down.”

“So I went to the the next house, and this guy was the first and second pig’s brother. He must have been the brains of the family, because he had built his house out of bricks.”

“The news reporters found out… So they jazzed up the story with all that ‘Huff and puff and blow your house down’… I WAS FRAMED.”

Profile Image for Chrisl.
607 reviews87 followers
March 4, 2018
Having a first grade teacher as significant other, I've heard some delightful stories. Here's an allegedly true tale copied from the internet.

"One day the first grade teacher was reading the story of the Three Little Pigs to her class. She came to the part of the story where the first pig was trying to accumulate the building materials for his home. She read, 'And so the pig went up to the man with the wheelbarrow full of straw and said, 'Pardon me sir, but may I have some of that straw to build my house?'

"The teacher paused, then asked the class. 'And what do you think that man said?'

"One little boy raised his hand and said, 'I think he said 'Holy S**t! A talking pig!'"

"The teacher was unable to teach for the next 10 minutes."


Scieszka's version is definitely worth reading.
Profile Image for Linda.
1,852 reviews2 followers
April 12, 2023
This is the book that introduced me to the demented author Jon Scieska (rhymes with Fresca). This is the story we all heard as children from a different perspective. It is told by A. Wolf. The first sentence sets the tone of the book perfectly: "I was framed." Go along for this wonderful not-for-children-only book. You won't be able to read just one (of Scieska's books). You will soon be addicted like I am.

3/22/23 - Still one of my all-time favorites. One of Time Magazine's 100 Best Children's Books.
Displaying 1 - 30 of 3,893 reviews

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