Monday, January 14, 2013

Review #120: The Three Ninja Pigs

Dad:  It's "The Three Ninja Pigs."
Kids: (karate noises)  YAGH!  WHAH!  SWOOSH-WOOSH!
Dad:  Written by Corey Rosen Schwartz.  And illustrated by --
Lily (age 9):  Dan Santat.
Gracie (age 12):  He's an illustrator and a ninja.
Dad:  The 6 kids and I just read the book.  And now the 3 oldest kids are here reviewing it, while the 3 littlest ones are...
Gracie:  Doing karate stuff. 
Dad:  They've turned into little ninjas, spinning all over the room.
Gracie:  They're all like WAH!  HAWAH!
Dad:  It's funny to see the baby running around doing ninja moves.  Hey, you three need to be quieter while we do the review...
Gracie:  This book is about these three pigs that live in China.  There's this wolf in their village that they have to get rid of because he's blowing things down.  He's a big bully and he rules the world or something.
Dad:  So, there are Three Pigs... a Big Bad Wolf... this sounds like...
Gracie:  The Three Little Pigs.  It's pretty much the same only they changed the word 'little' to 'ninja.'
Isaac (age 14):  It definitely makes it different.
Lily:  They are taking the original and they are re-storying it.
Gracie:  They are strange-ing it up.
Lily:  Twisting it.
Isaac:  It's cool - I like how it's twisted with ninjas and karate. 
Gracie:  Twisted Ninjas!
Lily: (singing)  I'm a twisted ninjaaaaaaa!  A twisted ninjaa-aa-aa!
Dad:  So what happens in this ninja version?
Gracie:  The pigs don't like the wolf being a bully, so they go train at different Ninja Schools.  The first pig drops out because he's lazy.
Lily:  I think he's not very smart.  All the other animals in the dojo are flipping each other like, WAH!  SHOOP!  WHAP!   But Pig One is just snoring.
Dad:  And the second pig?
Lily:  Pig Two stopped halfway through too.  He thought, "I don't need any more learning.  I'm good enough to defeat the evil wolf now.  Ha- ha-ha-ha."
Isaac:  But he got kicked.
Dad:  Third pig?
Isaac:  Pig Three studies karate, she goes through all the lessons, and she masters it.  She defeats the wolf.
Gracie:  She scares him.
Lily:  By splitting bricks on top of each other. 
Gracie:  That third pig is a millionaire!  Did you see how big her house is???
Lily:  WAH!  WEW!  WHEW!  Pork Chop!
Gracie:  The author and illustrator probably based Pig Three off of Miss Piggie. 
Isaac:  They are probably Muppet fans.
Gracie:  Are you guys Muppet fans?
Lily:  When Miss Piggie gets offended her eyes get really big!
Gracie:  And she goes HI-YAH! with her perfectly manicured hooves.
Dad:  So that sums up the story.  What did you think about the art?
Lily:  I like the end pages.  Those are pretty nice.  They are pretty scenes.
Isaac:  I really like how the author told the story with all the rhyming and the twist to it.  I also really like the artwork.  I like the... the... whatchacallit... the um, perspective of the characters.
Dad:  You mean Foreshortening?
Gracie:  New word!
Dad:  When a character has an arm or a leg coming out toward you, the artist needs to know how to use 'foreshortening' -- they make the leg look bigger and overlapped to show that it's closer.
Isaac:  Yeah.  I'm bad at that!
Dad:  You see foreshortening a lot in superhero comics.  It's really tricky.
Isaac:  Yeah it is. 
Dad:  Done right, it looks like the foot is coming toward you.  Done wrong it looks like, "Man, that dude has a really short leg and a huge foot."  It's definitely a skill you have to learn.
Isaac:  Dan Santat is good.
(One by one the older kids have been slinking away to join the younger kids in jumping around the room karate style)
Lily:  Bacon action!
Gracie:  WAHHH!
Lily:  WHEW!  WEW!  WEW!
Dad:  Are you guys done with this review then?
Gracie:  WAP!  WAP!  WAP!
Isaac:  NINJITSU!   Ow!  I just pulled something in my leg!
Dad:  Are you guys going to go make your review-fan-art now... or practice ninja skills on each other?
Isaac:  Ouch.  I'm going to go get a heating pad...

Pig Three versus A Duck, by Lily

Pig Three versus Miss Piggie, by Gracie

Pig Three versus A Punching Bag, by Isaac

Author: Corey Rosen Schwartz
Illustrator: Dan Santat
Published, 2012: Putnam
Like it?  Here it is...


Corey Schwartz said...

Oh, thanks so much! What a fun review! And I am completely BLOWN AWAY by the art! :)

grandma myrna said...

what an amazing review! what wonderful critics with such keen insights...not to mention those up-and-coming future illustrators!

Megan Maynor said...

Ha! What a fun blog concept. I am participating in Lee Wind's comment challenge and just found you. I reviewed this book with a similar audience and they especially loved, "pork chop!" and "get out of that hut, before I kick your big butt" because, you know "butt" is pretty hard to beat, comedically speaking. Great fan art too!

Beth said...

I had just added this to our To-read list, so this review is very timely. Well done! I also enjoyed the movie you guys just made about Frog and Toad.

PragmaticMom said...

Your family review is so much fun ... almost as fun as this retelling of the Three Little Pigs book! My kids like karate so we will have to get this book! Your review makes us want to read it so badly!

This comment challenge is fun! Nice to meet you and your wonderful kid reviewers!

RGian said...

I love the fan art for this post! Perhaps we'll be seeing books with your illustrations in them very soon....

Lee Wind, M.Ed. said...

Completely awesome review! loved the art, and "They are strange-ing it up." should be on the cover. Excellent! And thanks for being part of the Comment Challenge!

MotherReader said...

I loved this book! For work at the public library, I needed to come up with a few picture books for older readers and this one was top of my list. It's fun to read for preschoolers, but it has interest for older elementary kids too. Well, preaching to the choir here from your family's review...

Unknown said...

Such a fun review! I especially love the kids art - what a nice touch to include!

Jeanette W. Stickel said...

Great review - such fun! And the artwork is fabulous. I'm glad I found your blog.

Anonymous said...

Oh, you guys know the Muppets DID do a Three Little Pigs retelling where Miss Piggy was the third pig and put the others to shame? It was on a straight to VHS recording of several fractured fairy tales that I can't remember the name of now, but it DOES EXIST!

--Rockinlibrarian,, who is having trouble signing in.

Playing by the book said...

Sounds like a *dangerous* book ;-)

Tara Lazar said...

Fabulous fan art. Watch out, Z-Dad, those kids are going to start illustrating your books for you.

P.S. I love Miss Piggie.