Monday, March 1, 2010
Review #62: The Three Pigs
Lily (age 7): "The Three Pigs."
Dad: We all know the story of the Three Little Pigs, don't we? So... is this going to be a boring review?
Gracie (age 9): No way! I've never heard the Three Little Pigs story expressed quite like this. I've never seen, in my whole lifetime, a book as awesome as this.
Isaac (age 11): And it has a big golden sticker on it. So that means it's not going to be boring!
Dad: Yep, David Wiesner gets lots of Caldecott Awards. Well deserved ones.
Evangeline (age 2): Sticker on there... (pick, pick)
Isaac: Don't pick it off, Evie!
Dad: So this is not the plain old story of the Three Little Pigs?
Gracie: Ohh, no!
Isaac: They escape.
Dad: Escape from what?
Gracie: The pigs escape their story. They jump right out of the picture panel. And they have an adventure.
Isaac: The wolf blew them out of the panel and into the real world.
Elijah (age 4): He's out of the picture!
Evangeline: Piggy! Piggy!
Isaac: Outside of their story, there are all these panels from other stories lined up. It's a place where all the pictures are -- all the pictures from every story ever created.
Lily: They must be in the library...
Elijah: When they got out of the pictures, they made an airplane and flyed all around, and then they crashed!
Lily: They made a paper airplane out of a panel from their story.
Gracie: A piece with the wolf in it!
Isaac: It's a wolf-mobile!
Dad: Have you ever heard the expression "When Pigs Fly?"
Isaac: Yes... Once I cleaned my room, and I got it done in a certain amount of time. I told Mom, and she said, "When pigs fly." But then she looked, and it was true. So pigs must have flown.
Dad: So what happens next in the book?
Gracie: The pigs walk outside around the stories, and then they go inside the other stories and make lots of new friends. Like the cat from "Hey Diddle Diddle."
Evangeline: Cat! Cat! Meow!
Gracie: And they met a dragon from another story.
Isaac: That's a cool dragon.
Dad: What happens to the pigs as they pop in and out of stories?
Gracie: When they are in the stories, they look cartoony, and when they come out they look realistic, because they are in the real world now.
Isaac: On some pages the pigs are still halfway inside the picture, so they are half-realistic and half-non.
Gracie: That's awesome.
Isaac: His snout looks like it's popping out.
Lily: I like how there are a whole bunch of styles. In each story, the pigs turned into the style of that story. In the nursery rhyme it was all kidsy, cartoony. And when they went into it, they turned into that cartoony style.
Gracie: That was my favorite style. They look all cutesy and simple.
Isaac: They get all nursery-rhymey-colors.
Lily: And in the dragon story, they turned into black and white lines because that's how that story was drawn.
Dad: So the pigs know that they are in a story. Did you know there's a word for that? When you are reading a book, and the characters know they are in a story, it's called "Metafiction."
Isaac: That sounds like a superhero name... "Metafiction!"
Dad: So, what if you guys could pop out of our world?
Isaac: Where do you think the opening is? I want to run as hard as I can and slam right into it so I fall out of it and see other worlds!
Dad: If you could go into one story that we've reviewed on Bookie Woogie, which one would you want to visit?
Isaac: I want to go into "I Spy." It would be cool -- there would be life-size toys, and you could build forts and stuff!
Lily: I think I would go into "Scribble."
Dad: What would you do in there?
Lily: Draw pictures that come to life. And visit Scribble Kitty.
Dad: That book was kind of like metafiction too, wasn't it. The pictures were aware of being pictures... Actually, over our 62 reviews, we've looked at quite a few books with self-aware characters, haven't we.
Gracie: Like "A Book."
Dad: Yep. And "Inkheart." And "The Book that Eats People."
Gracie: "Babymouse" is metafiction.
Dad: Because she has conversations with the narrator?
Gracie: (grabs a nearby Babymouse book and reads) "You're a winner in my book, Babymouse." Then Baby mouse says, "Actually it's a graphic novel." See, she knows she's in a story.
Dad: So what book would you want to go into Gracie?
Gracie: I would want to go into "The Book That Eats People..." Actually - never mind, never mind! I changed my mind!
Dad: Yeah, if he ate you, that would be a very different way to go "into" a book!
Gracie: I do not want to be digested.
Dad: What other books could we visit? "A Wrinkle in Time..."
Gracie: I want to go into "A Wrinkle in Time"!
Dad: "Anne of Green Gables..."
Gracie: I want to go into "Anne of Green Gables"!
Dad: You're just saying every book I say.
Gracie: No I'm not.
Gracie: Aww!!! I want to go into "Babymouse!"
Dad: What about "Crazy Hair"?
Dad: Ha ha! I guess that's a 'no.'
Author/Illustrator: David Wiesner
Published, 2001: Clarion Books
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