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The Three Little Pigs

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James Marshall, a 1989 Caldecott Honor winner for Goldilocks and the Three Bears, is witty and wily once again as he enchances The Three Little Pigs with ingenious details that will delight young readers.

32 pages, Hardcover

First published January 1, 1984

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About the author

James Marshall

114 books120 followers
James Edward Marshall (October 10, 1942 – October 13, 1992), who also wrote as Edward Marshall, was a children's author and illustrator.

His father worked on the railroad, was a band member in the 1930s, and his mother sang in the local church choir. His family later moved to Beaumont, Texas. Marshall said: "Beaumont is deep south and swampy and I hated it. I knew I would die if I stayed there so I diligently studied the viola, and eventually won a scholarship to the New England Conservatory in Boston."[1] He entered the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston, Massachusetts, but injured his hand, ending his music career. He returned to Texas, where he attended San Antonio College, and later transferred to Southern Connecticut State University where he received degrees in French and history.

It is said that he discovered his vocation on a 1971 summer afternoon, lying on a hammock drawing. His mother was watching Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf, and the main characters, George and Martha, ultimately became characters in one of his children's books. Marshall continued as a children's author until his untimely death in 1992 of a brain tumor. In 1998, George and Martha became the basis of an eponymous animated children's television show.

In addition to George and Martha, the lovable hippopotami, James Marshall created dozens of other uniquely appealing characters. He is well-known for his Fox series (which he wrote as "Edward Marshall"), as well as the Miss Nelson books, the Stupids, the Cut-ups, and many more. James Marshall had the uncanny ability to elicit wild delight from readers with relatively little text and simple drawings. With only two minute dots for eyes, his illustrated characters are able to express a wide range of emotion, and produce howls of laughter from both children and adults.

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5 stars
795 (40%)
4 stars
629 (32%)
3 stars
440 (22%)
2 stars
70 (3%)
1 star
28 (1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 268 reviews
Profile Image for Julia Stevens.
50 reviews1 follower
July 2, 2014
A classic! Great for predicting. This is a fun one to tell on a flannel board or have your students retell in their own words.
4 reviews
February 28, 2013
Darba autors ir Džeimss Maršals. Darba nosaukums ir Trīs mazi sivēntiņi. Stāsts noris rudenī, kad sivēntiņi sāk celt mājas aukstajai ziemai. Es izvēlējos šo grāmatu, jo es nekad nebiju lasījis trīs sivēntiņus, bet es jau apmēram zināju kas ir stāsta pamatā. Šis stāsts ir savā ziņā uzjautrinošs pieaugušam lasītājam, bet dažkārt vajag paskatīties uz pasauli ar bērna acīm un izprast, ko bērns iemācās no stāsta morāles. Stāsta morāle ir tāda, ka lai kā tu censtos, ir jādomā par to cik tu daudz izdari un vai tu izdari visu ko tu spēj.
Stāstā darbojas trīs mazi sivēntiņi - Nif Nifs, Nuf Nufs un Naf Nafs, kā arī vilks. Sivēntiņš Naf Nafs bija visgudrākais un rūpīgākais, tāpēc rūpīgi izvēlējās mājas materiālus. Viņš bija piekusis no izturīgās mājiņas celšanas, bet bija gandarīts par padarīto. Vēlāk stāstā parādās arī vilks, kurš vēlas apēst sivēntiņus. Galu galā visi trīs sivēntiņi dzīvoja draudzīgi vienā mājā, kur veiksmīgi pārziemoja visu ziemu. Autors izmanto bērnišķīgu valodu, kura ļauj lasītājam nedomāt par vārda nozīmi. Stāsts ir veidots modernā stilā, jo nav varoņu pārdzīvojumu.
Es ieteiktu izlasīt šo grāmatu visiem, kuri to vēl nav izdarījuši, lai vēlāk nebūtu vilšanās par stāsta morāli. Šis stāsts tiešām ir labs stāsts, jo tas liek padomāt par to vai tu dari visu ko spēj lai sasniegtu savu iecerēto mērķi.
Profile Image for Brittney.
22 reviews
February 17, 2020
Text to teaching:
This story can be taught to youngsters as a teaching lesson. In the story the three little pigs out smarted the wolf by having teamwork. I would tell the class to partner up and show them how to work as a team. Once they are paired in teams each team will create their own version of a house made with materials in the classroom. We will all then determine which house is the strongest and why.
Profile Image for Nickie.
15 reviews
April 2, 2019
Traditional tale although not a huge fan if the story myself it leant itself well to nursery children and they happily re-acted it during free flow of their own accord. I was able to create a rather lively story sack for this book including a non-fiction book of a wolf, a bag of bricks, a bag of twigs and a bag of straw so children could create the houses. Along with finger puppets for each of the characters.
Profile Image for H H.
114 reviews1 follower
March 29, 2018
just a place holder!!

Profile Image for Jennifer.
461 reviews3 followers
March 20, 2021
This is the version where the wolf eats the first 2 pigs immediately and the last pig eats the wolf. I liked the part where the wolf kept inviting the pig out, but I’m not sure why the pig kept going to the places, even though I wasn’t sure why the pig went even though he knew why the wolf invited him. I understood the turnips.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Ashley Campbell.
31 reviews3 followers
November 26, 2012
This rendition of The Three Little Pigs is similar to the original story I grew up knowing, but very different in many ways. First, the first two little pigs are both outsmarted and eaten by the wolf. This is different from the forgiving and gentle story I grew up with where the first and second pig eventually ran to the third pigs house for safety. Secondly, the methods that the wolf uses to attempt in outsmarting the third little pig are different. He tries to arrange meetings to eat turnips or pick from the garden, which the third little pig is smart enough to arrive early at. Unfortunately, when the wolf invites the third little pig to the fair, the pig forgets to leave early and is caught by the wolf. This leads back to the third little pig's home (made of stone) where the wolf tries to catch the pig by climbing down the chimney. The third little pig finally ends the torment by putting a boiling pot under the wolf, which he falls into and is cooked.
The illustrations for this Traditional story were bright and detailed. They were very descriptive to help add to the story and I enjoyed the expressions that each character had during different parts to the story.
15 reviews1 follower
March 12, 2012
This is another retold version of The Three Little Pigs, although this story more closely follows the original version. I enjoyed the illustrations in this picture book. They were cartoonish looking pictures that made the story more entertaining then the original. After reading this book, I didn't really know that the three pigs had a mother or the fact that the third pig beat the wolf by scaring him at least once in the story. It was entertaining to see the wolf being tricked over and over and then when he finally thought he had the pig, the pig actually ate him for dinner. My favorite part of the story was when the third pig rolled down the hill scaring the pig in a butter churn. Although, my students weren't very familiar with a butter churn, they still thought it was funny. I would like to read or see another version of The Three Little Pigs that has the same story but just change a few of the things in the story to make it more of a modern story.
70 reviews
January 31, 2013
The Three Little Pigs is a classic story that is told in different ways. In this telling there were three little pigs who left from home to start new lives of their own. The first pig made his house out of straw. A wolf came by and was hungry for pig, so he told the little pig to let him, the pig said no so the wolf blew down his house and ate him. This happened to the second pig how built his house of sticks. The third pig built his house out of bricks. The wolf tried to blow his house down but could not, so he tried to get the pig to invite him inside. The pig refused but told the wolf he would meet him in various public places. Each time the wolf tried to meet the pig, the pig had already left. The wolf was fed up and climbed in the pigs’ chimney. The wolf fell in the pigs’ pot and the pig made wolf soup.
I could use this story to teach students about what dialogue is. I could then have my students write a piece where they use dialogue in their story.
18 reviews
May 3, 2012
A funny retelling of the classic fairy tale of the three little pigs, with lift-the-flap surprises. The book has lift up flaps throughout, so very engaging and interactive for young children. It is a good way of introducing rhyme to children, as it has rhymes and repetition throughout. The rhymes are very well constructed and flow well, making it easy to read. The illustrations are bright, colourful, cheerful and each page is enhanced by 'lift the flaps'. A good telling of the story which is not too scary for the vivid imaginations that some children might have, it is also pretty close to the original traditional tale. This book comes with a CD which could give children the opportunity to read along too in the classroom. It encourages language and imagination and I would recommend it for any story time.
Profile Image for Maria Wong.
20 reviews
November 10, 2012
Fairy Tales Review Assignment (Book One):

The Three Little Pigs by James Marshall best depicts the original fairy tale. Similar to the original fairy tale, the wolf uses trickery to try to lure the third little pig out. He fails in the end because the little pig is too clever for him. This book would be appropriate for children in grades K-2. The story is an easy read aloud and children would naturally chime in with the rhythmic chants like, “I’ll huff and I’ll puff and I’ll blow your house in!” Readers will notice the illustrations in this story will support the storyline. For example, the third little pig was dressed very sophisticatedly with a suit and tie and even glasses. This portrays him to be intelligent and clever. This book would be a good read for young readers to learn that hard work pays off in the end and that evil will be punished.
40 reviews2 followers
April 2, 2014
Rating: 3

Review: The three little pigs is a suitable book for young children. It is a classic children's story that includes funny voices for the pigs and the bad wolf. The three little pigs need help in the story because the wolf has taken over their house.

How would you utilize in the classroom:

Read the three little pigs before nap time while the children are getting settled onto their cots, dim the lights, and read the story aloud. The teacher should change their voice to make the piggy characters come to life. it will prompt the children to be quiet so they can listen to the story while they are calming down for nap time. It also give them something to concentrate on while they are trying to asleep.
30 reviews1 follower
April 22, 2014
The three little pigs is a classic and should be known by all children. I loved this version and the pictures in it! The big bad wolf looked mean and careless as he huffed and puffed at the fat little piggies homes. Although the pigs get eaten and the mean old wolf in the end I still think this book would be good to read to a first grade class. I can imagine the kids screeching and laughing just thinking about it now. I also think the kids would enjoy joining in with the repetitive nature of the book. This would be a great book to read the wolf's part in a devious voice and the pigs in a squeaky, shy voice. In the end when the pig gets his revenge I think it is a good example of good verse evil.
Profile Image for Ellie.
52 reviews
April 8, 2014
This fun book was written in rhymes that children would all enjoy. This book even has flaps that can be lifted that can keep students engaged to guess what is to come next.

I can use this book in class for students to use compare and contrast of the version they are aware of and how different it may be or read another book that is also about three little pigs to get students to compare between two books. Students can also think and write their own different endings to the story or what part they would change if they could.
Profile Image for Savannah Work.
40 reviews2 followers
April 1, 2014
"The Three Little Pigs" is a classic fairy tale that has been retold time and time again. This version by James Marshall includes beautiful watercolor illustrations that help move the story along. Though because the pigs were somewhat rude, I'm not sure that I would use this version in a classroom of young children.

Utilized in the classroom: This story could be used in lessons on math and construction. The children could do activities building their own pig houses using various materials to find out which materials are more sturdy.
37 reviews
April 2, 2014
This story starts off with once upon a time and is a true fairy tale. This is the classic story of the three pigs that is why I like this book. It has great illustrations and describes how each pig has found material to build a house. This story would go great with a construction unit and I would even read this book before I did an activity that had the children build with toothpicks and marsh mellows. I would ask them to construct a house for themselves.
Profile Image for Bryonna Potter.
40 reviews
April 2, 2014
This book is a childhood all time favorite. Its a comedy and it is also a suspense at the same time. It is good for children imagination and excitement. This story also has a lot of rhyme and repetition in it.

I would use this in the classroom by showing how teamwork can get you out of situations that you may have trouble with.
27 reviews1 follower
April 2, 2014
This book is a classic that is told in a way for catching the children's attention. The Three Little Pigs is a story that can be used in the classroom in the block center. You can put out different materials so the children can try to build numerous structures that the big bad wolf can't blow down. These kind of activities build team work skills.
53 reviews2 followers
April 9, 2014
I absolutely loved The Three Little Pigs by James Marshall. In this classic story the author uses rhymes and detailed illustration with pop up flaps to engage students in a different twist in his retold story. I would use this book in my classroom to incorporate using retelling strategies and sequencing events.
Profile Image for Renee.
49 reviews
August 18, 2015
This is much more like the fairy-tale that I remember reading, though it is a bit different in the end. This is a fun book. I know the students would like this because the pig outsmarts the wolf.
50 reviews
February 15, 2018
The three little pigs was a story about three little pigs building their own house. One out of straw, sticks and bricks. But one by one a mean old harry wolf would come by and threaten them of eating them. He would huff and puff and blow there house I and east them. He ate the first two pigs but the last pig whit the house made of bricks had a trick for the wolf. The wolf could not blow his house in because the bricks were to strong, so the wolf would set up a date to plan something to get the little pig out of the house. Each event the pig would go earlier so the wolf and pig ever saw each other the finally they saw each other at a picnic and the pig tripped into a barrel scarring the wolf. The wolf came by the little pig house and was furious, he threaten to climb up the roof through the chimney to eat the little pig, so the pig boiled up some hot water and as soon as the wolf came sliding down the chimney he feel right into the pigs pot of stew and the little pig had him a nice bowl of wolf soup.
The literary of this book was very clear there were only a few old words like "Capital idea" but over all well put together a great book for kindergarteners to read along with because of the simple words that they should know as a kindergartener.
I gave this book five stars because the book told a great story that would keep children's interest and wanting to know what's going to happen next, its a very fun book.
31 reviews
October 29, 2019
In this version of The Three Little Pigs, James Marshall offers a longer version focused on the third pig and the wolf. The first two pigs buy their straw and sticks from a man to build their house, but are eaten by the wolf soon after. When the wolf approaches the third pig in the brick house, he cannot blow the house down and tries to trick the pig in a different way. He repeatedly asks the pig to go do things with him, such as pick turnips, but the pig is smart and does these things before the time the wolf asks. The wolf soon gets frustrated and jumps down the chimney, but falls right into the little pigs pot which he uses to eat the wolf for dinner. This story presents a longer version with a plot twist of the third pig (without his brothers) eating the wolf in the end. James Marshall does a great job by extending this classic tale and by inserting additional humor and clever remarks. The illustrations do a great job at also keeping the famous story alive and presents new details in the pictures (such as the wolf collecting the hat and balloon from the first two pigs). I think this book would make a great addition to any K-2 classroom and would be a story that would prove entertaining to the students.
Profile Image for Paige Ryan.
50 reviews
March 15, 2022
James Marshall retells the classic tale of the three little pigs and the big bad wolf with more exciting details. The setting is in a fantasy world where animals can act as humans. The main characters are the three little pigs and the wolf. The illustrations and story give crucial thinking process skills like observing, comparing, hypothesizing which house will stand or not, etc. Children will be able to comprehend and compare why each house didn't work and as they are reading along or listening, they are able to observe each pig's house, discuss and hypothesize why the house won't or will stand, and then classify and apply their understanding. The illustrations add to the story telling and provide proper foreshadow for children to further observe and discuss why the straw house didn't work and why the stick house didn't work. You can see the dialogue from the people the pigs buy their materials from leads to their fate. So, if children observe this, they can see that it's detailing to the upcoming events. The man with the bricks initially said it would make a sturdy house and that third pig listened and didn’t act like a know it all, therefore he had a successful and sturdy house! I love this new story telling of The Three Little Pigs and I think students will love it too.
40 reviews
September 15, 2017
Summary: This book follows the story of three pigs after leaving their mother’s house to live on their own. Each pig meets a man with different materials (straw, sticks and bricks) and decides to build their own house with his materials. They must beware of the big bad wolf their mother warned them of. He is a vicious wolf, he is always waiting to blow down another house. This fairy tale classic teaches us all an important lesson about thinking ahead and stranger danger.
Evaluation: This story is a classic fairy tale that represents the importance of working hard and thinking ahead. Readers follow the journey of three little pigs as they try to find safety away from the big neighborhood big bad wolf. Some pigs take the easy way out and others think long and hard about how to stay the safest. This story goes to show – its better safe than sorry.
Teaching Point: The author James Marshall presents an elaborate plot that involves one hungry wolf and one smart pig. This book could be used as a great lesson about stranger danger or taking your time to do something right. When the pig makes plans to meet the wolf he arrives an hour early each time. This is the passage in the book when the reader is let in on the pig’s super-secret plans. This unique connection between the main character and the reader brings about a climatic ending children will certainly enjoy.
32 reviews
October 28, 2019
The Three Little Pigs by James Marshall
Three little pigs are sent out by their mother to seek out their fortune. The first pig decided to buy a bunch of hay and build a house with that. It didn't take him long and once he moved in a wolf, who loves to eat pigs, came to his house. When the pig wouldn't let him the wolf huffed and puffed and the blew the house in. The second little pig decided to buy many sticks and build a house with them. The wolf comes buy his house and because he's still hungry, he wants in. The pig doesn't let him in, so he blows his way in. The third little pig decides to buy a lot of bricks to build his house. It took him a while but it was worth it. When the wolf tried to blow this house down, it didn't budge, so he tried to get the pig out of the house. The little pig was smart and always went before the time he and the wolf agreed on. Eventually the wolf got upset and forced his way in. The pig outsmarted him again and cooked him for dinner. The illustrations for this book are detailed and colorful. They are fun and describe the big events going on in the story.
February 4, 2021
This retold version of The Three Little Pigs is a little different from the one I grew up listening to. In this story, the first two little pigs are “gobbled up” by the wolf. This is different from the story of the two pigs running to the third pig’s house. The third pig outsmarts the wolf in a different way than the original story as well. The story of the third pig and the wolf is a back and forth game of cleverness. The wolf tries to outsmart the pig by luring him out of his house. The third little pig is too clever for this, though. The story is very engaging throughout this game of tricking the wolf over and over again. Finally, the pig decided to put a boiling pot at the end of the chimney the wolf tries to enter his house through, which he falls into and is cooked. The story ends with the little pig gobbling him up.

James Marshall’s illustrations are colorful, cartoon-like, and unique; they draw the reader in. The illustrations add to the storyline as they show the emotions of the characters and clue into how what the characters are thinking. For example, the wolf looks sneaky or sly when he is inviting the pig to the fair. He looks like he has a plan. This would be a great point to discuss with my students. This story is great for making predictions, retelling, and sequencing order of events. My students enjoy the story for its humor, and bright illustrations.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
21 reviews
November 19, 2017
The Three Little Pigs by James Marshall is a book level 3.3.

Summary: This story is about three pigs who build a house of straw, sticks and brick. A big bad wolf comes and tries to blow down their houses.

Classroom Integration: The way I would integrate this story into a classroom writing trait would be by looking at the organization of the story better. This fairy tale is well laid out and great way to explain that the author set us up in the beginning of the story so we understood where she was going. She continued through this traditional book by having the wolf huff and puff and try to blow down each pigs house. At the end she has a clear conclusion with a resolution. I have seen this book be adapted into a puppet show, which I think would just be a blast for young kiddos, to change up from the normal read aloud. Students that are older could write a story of their own having a clear introduction leading up to the middle where the climax happens and then add at the end a clear conclusion.
30 reviews
November 6, 2018

The three little pigs is a folk literature tale that has been around for years. The story talks about three different little pigs who each build a house. The three pigs each build their houses out of different things sticks, sticks, and bricks. There is a big bad wold who comes and tries to blow their houses down. The wolf is successful with the first two houses, but comes to have a harder time with the house made of bricks.


I gave this book five stars becasue it has a great storyline. It was very easy to read and understand, especially to a group of kindergarteners. The illustrations did a great job of describing the words that were on each page.

Teaching Idea:

This would be a great book to use as a read aloud when talking about elements of traditional/folk literature in second grade. After teaching students about elements of these kinds of stories, give them a copy and have them find different elements in the story such as setting, characters, problem, solution, etc.
June 14, 2020
This book is a fiction Traditional Tail for Early primary grade level. This story is about a crafty wolf who tries to manipulate the tree pig, but the collaborate by working together to defeat the wolf. I have always loved his book because it teaches children to unite and stick together and with teamwork anything is possible. I think this story is more entertaining than the original one and it also introduce thymes and repetition to young readers. This is a story about three little pigs, leaving mother’s house to get their own home. The youngest little pig builds his house of straw, he thought this was the easiest and fastest and it only took him one day to build, but it may not be strong enough from the wolf. The next pig builds his house of wood and took him 3 days and thought it would be sturdier from the wolf. The oldest pig builds his house of bricks, and it took a very long time, the whole week, and then finished his house and he felt it was very strong against the wolf, therefore the wolf couldn't blow his house down.
Displaying 1 - 30 of 268 reviews

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