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The Three Little Pigs: An Architectural Tale
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The Three Little Pigs: An Architectural Tale

3.82  ·  Rating details ·  182 ratings  ·  42 reviews
In this quirky, artsy retelling of “The Three Little Pigs,” the pigs and their homes are nods to three famous architects—Frank Gehry, Phillip Johnson, and Frank Lloyd Wright—and their signature homes. Each house is filled with clever details, including furnishings by the architects and their contemporaries. Of course, not all the houses are going to protect the pigs from t ...more
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published June 1st 2010 by Harry N. Abrams (first published March 1st 2010)
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Becky Sparkes
Nov 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
In this book it has the traditional tale of the three little pigs however the pigs use different building materials. The 1st pig uses scraps, the 2nd uses glass and the third pig uses stone and concrete.
Therefore, this book has good links with science lessons looking at materials. In their science lesson they could talk about the properties of materials and which materials they think are strongest and why.
This could link to a topic on street detectives and the class could go on a walk around th
From January through March 2014, my preschool classroom engaged in a fractured fairytale unit as a unifying theme for our larger multidisciplinary curriculum. Engaging both traditional and fractured versions of the three little pigs story allowed our classroom community to explore ideas of character voice and perspective, engage in our own construction work (with Lincoln Logs, miniature bricks, unit blocks, clay, etc.), write stories individually and collaboratively, perform Readers' Theatre, an ...more
Pamela Powell
Nov 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
A fun retelling of the classic folk tale, this rendition has the three pigs as architects. Complete with blueprints on the tables and recognizable buildings and furnishings from famous designers of the 20th century. The end papers even have drawings of the real inspirations for the illustrations. I especially enjoyed that the 3rd pig's stone and concrete house was Frank Lloyd Wright's Fallingwater.
Feb 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: childrensbooks
Perfect for a makerspace/STEM project or even an art unit!
Amy Paget
Jun 13, 2015 rated it liked it
Pastiches of childrens’stories are always very popular, and often calibrated for older audiences. Such is the case with The Three Little Pigs, an architectural tale. Illustrator Steven Guarnaccia from the Parsons New School for Design, has taken the classic tale using architects Frank Gehry, Phillip Johnson, and Frank Lloyd Wright for his pigs…and builders! Wright’s Falling Water becomes the sturdy home to which the pigs escape and Guarnaccia has filled all three of the houses with celebrated fu ...more
Oct 29, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: picture-book
For some reason, I like re-tellings of classic kid stories and The Three Little Pigs is one I enjoy in all different guises. I liked this one, but I was a bit disappointed that the architectural part didn't play more of a central theme. Kids won't necessarily recognize any of the houses pictured - or any of the various chairs and other furniture. It would have been nice to include some references to them in the story. E.g., the first little pig had studied Mr. X's work and gathered as much junk ...more
Christine Turner
In this quirky, artsy retelling of "The Three Little Pigs," the pigs and their homes are nods to three famous architects--Frank Gehry, Phillip Johnson, and Frank Lloyd Wright, and their signature homes. Each house is filled with clever details, including furnishings by the architects and their contemporaries. Of course, not all the houses are going to protect the pigs from the wolf's huffing and puffing. Which one will? The wolf, and readers, are in for a clever surprise ending.

Feb 27, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction, architecture
I like the idea of each architect building a house in his style and seeing how it stands up against a wolf huffing and puffing. While I love Fallingwater (one of the most beautiful buildings of all time), I had to chuckle at the idea of Frank Lloyd Wright's house being the sturdiest. Fallingwater's cantilevers would have collapsed long ago if the amount of steel reinforcement wasn't doubled without Wright's knowledge.

Anyway, back to the story -- it's a cute tale. I don't know how much kids would
This is very clever, with nods to several different designers (I snorted loudly when I realized what the "brick" house was), and the story does include the third pig tricking the wolf in the tomato garden, apple orchard, and a flea market. Nobody gets killed, though the wolf does drop down a lit chimney. The illustrations are fun, but the one thing missing here is some endnotes explaining the references in the book. There are sketches and very brief identifiers on the endpapers, though I couldn' ...more
A cute picture book about The Three Little Pigs but each has a different architectural style that they imitate, like the third pig has a house that looks like Frank Lloyd Wright's house, Falling Waters. I enjoyed the end pages which featured architectural elements such as furniture, houses and housewares that were used in the book. It can be read to kids younger than five as the story is pretty simple, but only older kids and adults would appreciate the architectural/design elements of it. Recom ...more
Maggie Mattmiller
Nov 29, 2015 rated it it was ok
I was excited about this twist on an old favorite, but it fell flat for me. It started with some changes and I was excited to see where it went, but then it was exactly same old same old. The end seemed to add some new things, but they too fell flat. I don't get the point of the additions to the end. Cute gift maybe for a kid in an architect's family, or a kid who wants to be an architect, but not much value added for me in this one.
The Styling Librarian
Jun 11, 2015 rated it really liked it
The Three Little Pigs – An Architectural Tale by Steven Guarnaccia – This book reminded me quite a bit of Roberto the Insect Architect by Nina Laden. Loved the retelling of the story and honoring of various famous architects. A well done book! The three architects included in the story are Frank Gehry, Phillip Johnson, and Frank Lloyd Wright. Fantastic book. Great connection at my school for my Y3 students who are studying architecture presently!
Sep 12, 2012 rated it it was amazing
PB 36. I don't know if this is a funnier book for kids or for adults. It take a very unique twist on a traditional fairy tale. I loved the different famous buildings that were scattered across the book. I think this would be the PERFECT first day of school book for a high school mechanical drawing, CAD or architecture class. I think my future elementary students would like it, but they wouldn't appreciate the architectural side as much.
Linnea Lyding
Nov 18, 2010 rated it did not like it
Written on the premise that the pigs were building houses inspired by the three famous architects Frank Gehry, Phillip Johnson, and Frank Lloyd Wright,I was hoping for more insight into the unique personalities and quirks of the architects. The houses were built out of scraps, glass, and stone and concrete. The illustrations and the endpapers were fun, but I felt that the story fell flat due to the lack of additional information on the architects.
Dec 14, 2015 rated it really liked it
This tale builds on the traditional well-known sequence by adding new events. Students must think about the sequencing. The students may also want to discuss the realistic detail around the pigs' houses. This could open the door for a cause and effect discussion of the changes to the overall story.
For example, create a set of sequence cards with story events, houses, and times on them. Then students can explain why the events happened in a certain order.
Jul 03, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This book would be a great one for our Structures and Design unit! It would be interesting to teach them about the three great architects mentioned in the book (Frank Gehry, Phillip Johnson, and my personal favorite: Frank Lloyd Wright). Frankly, I think this book would be a great one for all ages)
Three pigs gets an architectural twist. Readers can play spot famous homes in the text with help from the endpapers. Good for fractured fairy tale, homes and architecture/building, units. Pair with Iggy Peck, Architect
Nov 10, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Loved it. Thought it funny that Gehry's house made of scrap and Johnson's house made of glass both succumbed to the big bad wolf's huffing and puffing, but FallingWater was able to withstand it. The endpapers show the architects and designers, dates and names of their projects shown in the book. Lots of other design icons are included as well in the story.
Apr 10, 2013 rated it really liked it
This was a wonderful hip and up to date rendition of the The Three Little Pigs. The language was different and wonderful. The plot of the story was the same, but had a great new looks. Loved it and so did the kids.
Jul 14, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: children-s
Clever way of introducing architects/architecture (it even featured my favorite "The Gamble House" by Greene and Greene)...loved the information in the end papers. It would be paired well with "Roberto the Insect Architect" and "Iggy Peck, Architect"
Liked how the architecture was incorporated (and the wolf was cool in his motorcycle duds and sunglasses), but the story wasn't that outstanding. And the three "little" pigs looked like they were well into their 50s...and still living with momma pig up until this point. Hm.
Lynne Marie
Feb 10, 2016 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 24, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: art, folktales, pigs
Uses real architecture as the houses in the folktale! Frank Lloyd Wright's Fallingwater is the brick house. Gehry's house is the straw house! The story provides fodder for discussion about great architectural work as well as enjoying the folktale.
Jan Carlson
Jan 16, 2016 rated it really liked it
This is the typical three pigs and big bad wolf story. The twist is that the pigs build houses similar to three famous architects. I don't know much about architecture, but I immediately recognized Frank Lloyd Wright's Falling Water. Very cute book!
Joanie Franklin
Jan 19, 2013 rated it liked it
I liked the idea and the illustrations. End pages filled with fun tidbits of invention & design through the years. May read to our Destination Imagination group before they start their construction to help remind them to think outside the box.
Jul 10, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: kids
the kids enjoy this one and my architect student husband enjoys reading it to them. win/win!
Besides replacing a few words, there isn't much to make this book a particularly "architectural tale." It was a nice version of the story, but I don't think I would use this one in a story time.
Alex Novak
Oct 28, 2012 added it
Shelves: pb
PB 14
A fun new take on the original story of the three little pigs. Portraying them as real grown up jobs makes adds a new dimension to the old story and make it a fun read.
Aug 14, 2013 rated it really liked it
Jul 11, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: picture-book
This one is cute, but only if you understand who Frank Lloyd Wright is. It's the classic three little pigs story. Only the houses have changed. Cute illustrations.
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