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The Three Pigs

4.16  ·  Rating details ·  19,400 ratings  ·  2,257 reviews
This Caldecott Medal-winning picture book begins placidly (and familiarly) enough, with three pigs collecting materials and going off to build houses of straw, sticks, and bricks. But the wolf’s huffing and puffing blows the first pig right out of the story . . . and into the realm of pure imagination. The transition signals the start of a freewheeling adventure with chara ...more
Hardcover, 38 pages
Published April 23rd 2001 by Clarion Books (first published January 1st 2001)
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Average rating 4.16  · 
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 ·  19,400 ratings  ·  2,257 reviews

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Wow! Fantastic book! Last night we read the Stinky Cheese Man and other stupid tales and it was trying to turn fairy tales on their head and it was different, but not great the way this book was. This is how you turn a story on its head.

The art is fantastic and fairly easy to understand what is going on. This is the story of taking your own fate into your hands. Stepping back from the story we are stuck in and finding a new way forward. I mean this little work is a work of brilliance in my opini
David Schaafsma
Jul 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picturebooks
An inventive picture book that reminds me just a bit of The True Story of The Big Bad Wolf by Jon Scieska and Lane Smith, in that it assumes you know the traditional tale and then departs from it. In Wiesner's version we begin with the conventional story with a kind of retro illustration style, then one pig gets blown into an alternative universe where the pages of the original story appear on the page in a kind of meta-fictional way. The pigs escape in this reinvention.

I have five Wiesner books
David Wiesner's The Three Pigs is very much fun and in many ways appears as simply and utterly brilliant (I just so much love the both sly and in your face cultural and literary intertextuality and that the three pigs basically manage to escape from their adversary, the eponymous big bad wolf, by means of meta-fiction, by being blown right out of their story into other tales, and different types of accompanying illustrations). But all that being said, and even though I know that this is basicall ...more
Mar 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
The Three Pigs by David Weisner is a cute story that starts out like the traditional Three Pigs story, but then unexpectedly changes into something much different. The pigs are able to jump in and out of other fairy tales. It's such a unique twist on the original.

The illustrations are cute, detailed, and the story has a great ending. We really enjoyed it.


“The Three Pigs” is a children’s book written by David Wiesner, author of the famous book “Tuesday.” “The Three Pigs” is about how the three pigs basically come out of the story and their adventures in the real world. This book is the winner of the Caldecott Medal and is surely to send kids rolling over with laughter.

David Wiesner’s writing is smart and creative, but it is his illustrations that take center stage here. At first, the three pigs are drawn in regular two-dimensional storybook cha
Lisa Vegan
Jun 21, 2010 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: those familiar with the fairy tales mentioned in the book & can enjoy alternate versions
Recommended to Lisa by: Mir
This was my sixth Wiesner book and given that I assigned 5 stars to 4 and 3 stars to 1 of the previous five books, I guess I can say that this isn’t one of my favorite books by him.

As I was reading, I missed the originality of his other books. Yes, this is a humorous and vastly changed version of the Three Little Pigs fairy tale. I liked it but wasn’t that impressed until I got to the last several pages and then I decided that I did really like this. It’s a very creative and imaginative way to
Phoebe Ledster
Wiesner's alternative take on the traditional fairy tale of 'The Three Little Pigs' is incredibly entertaining. The relationship between the illustrations and written word on the page is extremely unique and would allow for a wonderful discussion with children about how stories can be represented. As a teacher, it could be used to model the traditional ways of storytelling and alternative ways, which the children prefer, why it might be different and would allow children the opportunity to explo ...more
Jan 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shame on me for never reading this before! I suppose I may not have appreciated it when my kids were small, because it doesn't really work as a sharing or read-aloud book. But for what it is, it's wonderful. And pioneering, I believe.

I love the use of white space. I love the self-promotional gallery walls showing scenes from Wiesner's other books. I love the dragon. But... I do feel sorry for the wolf.
Annie ⚜️
Apr 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
I'm not the biggest fan of this riff on the old tale but the kid absolutely loved it and I will say it was unique.
Jun 20, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: adults
Shelves: picture
In this highly imaginate and artistic twist on the Three Little Pigs, the pigs flee the wolf and escape off the edge of the illustrations into other stories.

I thought this book was awesome, but the little kids I read it to (ages 3-4) didn't really get the concept.
Doree Burt
Sep 30, 2008 rated it did not like it
2002 Caldecott Medal. Ummmm. What the!?! The art is coolish, but the lame story (or lack of story)...Are you kidding me? This reminds me of one of those Saturday Night Live skits where you sit there puzzled while those who created it are high-fiving themselves and chuckling.
Noelle Jensen, Age 6
May 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
What the heck? WHAT THE HECK! Oh, my goodness.
Anna Laskownicka
May 05, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
This is definitely a fresh viewpoint on the story of the classical 'Three Little Pigs'. What makes this book unique is the deconstruction of the plot, and the bravery of pigs who decided to take matters into their own hands.

I really like the idea of pigs flying away on the paper airplane made of the pages of their own story. In this way they outwitted the wolf, who needed to put more effort in finding them. The double spread white pages with pigs sitting on the airplane give the impression of fr
Kaethe Douglas
Wiesner is amazing, and this is my favorite. The hyper-realism, the three-Dimensionality, makes the text so much more meaningful. Both kids have always loved these, and we none of us show any signs of getting tired of his work.
Oct 01, 2010 rated it it was amazing
The Three Pigs is a twist on the longtime childhood story, The Three Little Pigs. I admit, I expected the book to be a similar version of the tale that I remember hearing as a child. This story completely took me by surprise when the wolf “…huffed, and he puffed, and he blew the house in…and ate the pig up.” Soon after, the pigs were wandering around on the page, separate from the framed illustrations. Before I knew it, the pigs were flying on a paper airplane they made from the pages of the ori ...more
I was very reserved to engage with this book to begin with - wouldn't have chosen to read it if I wasn't made to! But so glad I did; it has changed my entire view on picturebooks as I have experienced how the pictures can tell a different story to the text. I love the alternative world of the pigs stepping out of the story and changing things.

{Session notes whilst reading:}

Front cover image:
-different coloured eyes, different skin colours
-direct eye contact and smiles - creepy, makes you feel u
Christina Taylor
Aug 02, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picturebooks
Wiesner’s postmodern picturebook is a metafictive reimagining of the classic fairytale which employs water color, gouache, colored inks, pencil, and colored pencil on Fabriano hot press paper to raucously depict the three little pigs in a cartoon style while they remain in their own story. However, in the course of eluding the big bad wolf’s attacks they manage to not only survive but also break the frames of their own story, explore its gutters, and break into the frames that encase the stories ...more
Kwtay Calvin
Feb 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: general-pb
The book, The Three Pigs, begins as the classic tale we all have grown to know with three Pigs that set off to build houses of their own. The first Pig made his house of straw, and the next Pig made his house sticks, and the last Pig made his house of brick. The Wolf came and blew the straw house down and ate the pig, then he blew the stick house down and ate the pig. Just when you think you know what’s going to happen next the story takes a surprising turn. The Pigs leave the story! They find t ...more
Mar 08, 2009 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: parents reading with their children
We just love David Wiesner's books and though this one actually has some words, it still has the same crazy, mind-blowing illustrations we've come to expect from his wordless books.

It's a fun take on the well-told tale of "The Three Little Pigs." We really enjoyed reading this book together and I think it was certainly worthy of it's Caldecott Medal.

This book was selected as one of the books for the January 2017- Caldecott Medal Winners 1998-2002 discussion at the Picture-Book Club in the Child
Oct 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
On the front cover of this Caldecott winner, the suggestions are made that the story of the Three Little Pigs is told over and over, but always with the same outcomes. And then the questions are asked, who's in charge of the story, who gets to decide what happens, and has anyone asked the pigs? And so the author proceeds to give us a story that might portray just what the pigs would want to see happen. This delightful story is creative, and the illustrations are wonderful. I especially liked the ...more
Emma Hamilton
Nov 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ks2
Post modern book which challenges the idea of the traditional three little pigs. Really interesting to look at with children in relation to picture book codes as the little pigs take the story apart including the picture frames and then reconstruct it to suit them. They even take away the words and reconstruc them to create an ending which they want.

Really interesting and would create a good discussion with children.
Jordan Wheeler
Sep 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
This book is impossible to read out loud, as the text doesn't go from left to right or in a linear timeline. It would be much more suited to guided reading, especially if each child has their own copy. Perhaps stop after each page and talk. It requires lots of intertextual thinking based on traditional tales, and relies on the storytelling tropes they use. It's incredibly inventive and fun.
Apr 14, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: kids
Imaginative book. Difficult to read out loud~~it's not really meant for that.
Feb 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: children-s-books
The story starts out as a traditional The Three Little Pigs story, but then takes and unexpected turn. Beautiful illustrations.
Feb 12, 2018 added it
This was so wonderfully clever! I love how the style of the art changes throughout this story. A fun take on a classic tale!
Lauren Green
A funny twist on a traditional tale told through amazing illustrations which really draws the read in. Really plays on children's skill of intertextuality.
Rachel Hoeck
Jan 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
The Three Pigs by David Wiesner puts a twist on the classic story of The Three Little Pigs. The picture book begins with a white pig who has built his house out of straw. A wolf comes along and asks to come inside the pig’s home, but the pig declines. In response, the wolf blows the house in and literally blows the white pig out of the story. Then, the wolf goes to the pink pig’s stick house. While he is blowing the house down, the white pig shows up in the white space of the book, outside the s ...more
Erin Ramai
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Courtney Spicer
Apr 02, 2016 rated it did not like it

Weisner, D., (2001). The Three Pigs. New York: Clarion Books.

The Three Pigs starts just as the original story of the three little pigs begins. The one everyone knows, with the pigs who are building their houses out of straw, sticks, and bricks. The wolf comes along to blow down the houses and eat the pigs, but there’s a catch! The first pig escapes out of the story illustrations, into the background land that can lead him into other stories. He rescues his brothers, finds a dragon that will be s
Nov 01, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Three Little Pigs by David Wiesner is a postmodern picture book that provides a fun and unique twist on the tale of The Three Little Pigs. Wiesner’s version of The Three Little Pigs starts with an introduction that is very similar to the traditional story, “Once upon a time there were three pigs who set out into the world to seek their fortune”. Next, we are introduced to the first little pig (who decides to build a straw house) and the wolf. This part of the story is nearly identical to cla ...more
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During David Wiesner's formative years, the last images he saw before closing his eyes at night were the books, rockets, elephant heads, clocks, and magnifying glasses that decorated the wallpaper of his room. Perhaps it was this decor which awakened his creativity and gave it the dreamlike, imaginative quality so often found in his work.

As a child growing up in suburban New Jersey, Wiesner re-cre

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