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The Three Little Rigs

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From the author/illustrator of Extremely Cute Animals Operating Heavy Machinery!

"Will mesmerize tool-and-vehicle-obsessed little ones" (ALA Booklist). "Kids who love trucks will enjoy this adaptation" (School Library Journal).

When the three little rigs set out to build their own garages, each one thinks that his is going to be the strongest. But then the big bad wrecking ball comes to call and threatens to smash their new homes to smithereens. The brothers learn that it’s only by bravery and teamwork that they can win the day.

32 pages, Hardcover

First published May 10, 2005

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About the author

David Gordon

28 books5 followers
David Gordon has done visual development for numerous production companies from Lucasfilm to Pixar, including Toy Story; Monsters, Inc.; A Bug’s Life; Cars; BlueSky’s Robots; and Nickelodeon’s Spongebob Squarepants. He’s also written and illustrated several picture books, among them Hansel and Diesel, The Three Little Rigs, The Ugly Truckling, and Smitten. He’s one of the illustrators of Jon Scieszka’s fifty-two-book, New York Times bestselling series, Trucktown. Visit him at IllustratorRanch.com.

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5 stars
57 (23%)
4 stars
110 (46%)
3 stars
57 (23%)
2 stars
11 (4%)
1 star
4 (1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 68 reviews
Profile Image for Amy.
1,131 reviews
March 13, 2012
The Three Little Rigs is a really cute, clever retelling of The Three Little Pigs. All of the correct elements of the original story were there, but the twists were just quite creative, and I think they were quite appealing to boy readers (in particular?). My nephew really enjoyed this book, which I fully expected, but my niece was pretty impressed with it too, and that surprised me! Both kids had their noses right in those pages, and both were processing and enjoying the story. The author did a great job with this fun retelling, and we really liked reading this one! And judging by the wear and tear on the library copy that we checked out, we weren't the only ones who were enthusiastic about this book. :-)
Profile Image for Ebookwormy1.
1,778 reviews246 followers
September 25, 2008
A hit with my truck loving son. Not only is the three little pigs spoof cute, he is learning about saw mills, air compressors, nail guns, stone cutting factories, cement mixers mortar, steel mills, steel beams, welding machines. Of course, appearances by cranes are always welcome with him as well. An excellent addition to our regular rotation and wishlist.
Profile Image for Bonnie Ferrante.
Author 38 books136 followers
May 13, 2014
This is one of the more unique adaptations of The three Little Pigs I have read. A yellow, a blue, and a red rig set out on their own. David Gordon explains what tools and materials are used by each rig to build their own garage. The blue one uses wooden planks which are knocked down by the big, bad wrecking ball. The second uses stone blocks, which are also knocked down by the big, bad wrecking ball. The third rig uses steel beams to build his garage. The wrecking ball is unable to knock it down but returns with the mean magnet and the cruel cutter. In the end, the three villains are thrown into the melting pot.

Children who are interested in building and big machines will love this book. It is engaging, clever, and informative.

The illustrations are clear, bright, and strike a perfect balance between simplicity and detail. Although the main characters are machines, Gordon manages to infuse them with expression. The double-page spreads have the feeling of a movie screen, understandable since Gordon has worked for Pixar and other companies. I think they are digitally drawn. There are number of pages with interesting perspectives and shading is used well to provide mood.

Since the child, hopefully, already knows the story, the tension is reduced. But, Gordon arouses our curiosity as to how the formidable villain will be defeated. I would’ve liked the sentence explaining why the wrecking ball wanted to destroy all the garages. In the original version, we know that the big bad Wolf is hungry.

Well recommended.

For more picture book reviews, go to bferrante.wordpress/com
Profile Image for Mama Bibliosoph.
271 reviews13 followers
July 25, 2018
I’m always on the hunt for books that do fairy tales well. But until recently, I haven’t been willing to consider introducing books that “twist” the tale since my children still need to learn the original stories. I don’t want to confuse them, particularly because of how scripted and rigid they can be about text. This may sound a bit paranoid, but fairy tales are foundational to Western culture (and important to me).

Luke and Harry, however, now have The Three Little Pigs in their repertoire, so I decided to give The Three Little Rigs a try.

Despite the general darkness of the illustrations, my boys immediately understood this was a version of The Three Little Pigs, but with trucks, and were interested.

Luke’s attention waned when he realized that the story had a lot of differences. It’s not just that the pigs are trucks or that the Big Bad Wrecking Ball has taken the place of the Big Bad Wolf. There are also helper characters that assist each truck to build their home, and the Big Bad Wrecking Ball has two other demolition-related machines that help it to destroy the trucks’ garages.

But I think the change that discouraged Luke the most was that the second garage was made of brick, and it was destroyed! (The final garage is made of steel.) Luke particularly likes to say, “But the brick house DIDN’T fall down!” so this really ruined things for him.

Harry, on the other hand, was mesmerized to be introduced to a new version of the “Three Little Pigs,” and requested the book repeatedly for days. His familiarity with the original story was extremely motivating, and he fully enjoyed the macabre ending in which the Big Bad Wrecking Ball and his friends are melted.
Profile Image for Erin.
2,122 reviews
August 17, 2021
A cute play on The Three Little Pigs, but it missed the mark. There is no explanation for the three different houses like in the original, where the straw house is built by the laziest pig, and the brick by the hardest working pig. Here there are three garages that are all built with effort and skill. Also, there is no motivation for the wrecking ball to destroy these houses like there is for the wolf to eat the pigs. Also the villains of the story are important tools for construction, so I don't think the fate they met is fair. The motivations are completely missing in this story. Two stars only because the concept is cute.
311 reviews1 follower
March 2, 2018
Construction truck version of the classic fairy tale, very clever.
Profile Image for Annie.
162 reviews61 followers
August 21, 2018
Such a cute story. Read it to a boy I babysat, then we enacted the story with his rigs or "diggers"
Profile Image for Margaret.
815 reviews
August 25, 2018
Adorable twist on the story of the three little pigs with a surprise ending. Preschoolers with truck obsessions will love this!
772 reviews19 followers
November 13, 2018
Basically the 3 little rigs is the 3 little pigs if you didn't figure that out from the title... A little gory at the end though...
Profile Image for Laurie.
51 reviews5 followers
December 11, 2018
A four star review! Required 4 reading requests from a 3 year old during a 5 hour visit.
71 reviews
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October 9, 2022
This book is about standing up to bullies but also asking for help when you need it. You are not alone and if the situation is too much for you to handle on your own it is ok to ask for help.
Profile Image for Terri.
913 reviews30 followers
February 6, 2020
This is a unique, clever take on the classic, “The Three Little Pigs.” Rigs=Pigs - this would be a great book to use to teach rhyme. I liked the more contemporary machinery and building aspects of this book (published in 2005). The ending, however, is lacking - suddenly the cranes that technically control the wrecking balls become the heroes of the story? That didn’t make any sense. Plus, the melting of the “bad guys” seemed a little macabre, especially for little ones. However, this will be an excellent choice to use with my third graders as we look at different versions of classic fairy tales.
Profile Image for Hannah.
1,317 reviews25 followers
March 18, 2017
A construction vehicle version of the Three Little Pigs.
Profile Image for Melanie H..
3,673 reviews39 followers
July 11, 2015
A fun retelling of the three little pigs with construction equipment. The three littles are rigs, as in cranes. And the big, bad wolf is a wrecking ball. The first little rig builds his house out of wood, which the wrecking ball has no problem with. Neither does he have a problem with the bricks of the second little rig. But the third rig builds his house out of steel and has less trouble with mr. wrecking ball. So big, bad ball goes and gets reinforcements in the way of a giant magnet and steel cutters. But the grown-up cranes handling these cruel beings don't hold with hurting the littles.

A darling retelling that will be popular in storytime.
Profile Image for Fred Kirchner.
Author 1 book14 followers
February 4, 2009
Best picture book I've read in 18 months. And no--that's not a typo--it's most definitely the 3 Little Rigs, young smart trucks (not pigs) out to build their own garages and make their way in the world of sentient construction vehicles. Made me wish I was a taxi and could be a journalist in this fully created world, where the author, David Gordon, has created the paintings and the text. Buy it for your kids; buy if for your nephew; buy it for your neice; read it to all the little kids you love. then go rent The Brave Toaster.
Profile Image for Krista the Krazy Kataloguer.
3,873 reviews263 followers
June 2, 2011
Well, this one was different. It's a version of "The Three Little Pigs" only with cranes (the machine kind, not the bird). The illustrations were colorful, but the text was sparse and lacked drama. It was the bare bones of the story, with everything changed to trucks and machines--no extra spark. Boys will like it, I'm sure, with all the different machines and the descriptions of how to build garages out of different types of materials, not to mention the big mean old wrecking ball and his nasty friends. It just didn't do much for me.
Profile Image for Jean-Marie.
969 reviews43 followers
January 27, 2011
Momma Rig sends her three little rigs off into the world. Each builds a garage - one of wood, one of brick and one of steel. Then the big bad wrecking ball comes along to smash and bash their garages in. Time to tell the Three Little Pigs to wee wee wee all the way home, because this read is perfect for the youngest grease monkeys everywhere. And my 3-year-old son couldn't stop looking at, admiring and discussing the brightly colored illustrations. A fun read for sure!
Profile Image for Erin.
3,589 reviews45 followers
January 31, 2014
While not my favorite, my three-year-old LOVES this. And in all fairness, it is a cute adaptation of the Three Little Pigs for those who prefer their fairy tales and fables with a side of construction or trucks.

May 19, 2015
Another fun one for truck fans, this is a story many young ones will find familiar but will give those who love their big-rigs a great twist. (Three little rigs build their garages, hoping the big bad wrecking ball won't knock them down.) The pictures in our library's copy felt a little dark, but that might be the age of it. Otherwise, it reads really well and the story can be clearly recognized by littler kids.
Profile Image for Tressa .
539 reviews
April 2, 2009
This book is too cute. It's the story of the Three Little Pigs told by three little rigs. The wrecking ball wears an evil grin on his face and is scarier than the big bad wolf. I'm sure some little girls will enjoy this book, but it's got everything little boys obsessed with cars, trucks, and crashes might look for in a story.

Highly recommended.
40 reviews1 follower
December 10, 2014
Genre: Traditional Literature
Copyright: 2009
Thoughts: This was a really fun version of The Three Little Pigs. This version uses cars and other junkyard vehicles. The big bad wolf was portrayed through a wrecking ball. The images were fun and I think that boy students would really enjoy this version.
Profile Image for Meltha.
945 reviews45 followers
March 31, 2015
This is a very cute and probably very boy-friendly (or girls who love cars and machines) version of the story with the wolf replaced with a wrecking ball. There is actually a bit of discussion of different kinds of tools here as well as anthropomorphized illustrations of them as well. It's a unique idea and a fun retelling.
Profile Image for Kristine.
318 reviews1 follower
January 25, 2008
Thank you Miss Hannah (our local children's librarian) --another great one for my truck loving son who has read this every night for the past 10 days. Tale of 3 little cranes told following the plot of the three little pigs.
Profile Image for Keeley.
181 reviews
July 6, 2009
I found that I couldn't figure out how this book was going to end! He really made it fun and suspenseful, even though we know how the traditional story ends. I am so excited about these books of his. I hope there are more.
Displaying 1 - 30 of 68 reviews

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