Written by: Corey Rosen Schwartz
Illustrated by: Dan Santat
Published in 2012
Genre: Picture Book
Grade Level: K-2
Summary: “Once upon a dangerous time” a wolf was going around blowing down the animals’ houses. The three pigs (two brothers and one sister) decided that enough was enough and they would stop the big bully. They each enroll in a different form of martial arts class and prepare to take on the wolf.
This was another Scholastic Book Fair find, and I must say that I simply love it. I picked it up because I love stories that play off of classic fairy tales in new and fun ways. I also picked up Ninja Red Riding Hood by the same author and illustrator, which I will reviewing soon.
First off, the thing I love most about this book are the illustrations. The pictures are all really well done, and they were very enjoyable to look at. The artwork was reminiscent of some of the manga I have read, especially during the “fight scenes”. I also really enjoyed the little nods to the original story. While the text says very little about the houses built of straw, sticks, and bricks, you can see those details in the background. The background scenes were by far the best part of the illustrations. The characters were nice, but the scenery was wonderful.
In terms of the storyline, there are bits and pieces that relate back to the original. For example, each pig takes a different class at the ninja school, and each lasts a certain amount of time depending on how lazy they are. Straw and stick houses anyone? The first pig starts aikido lessons but lasts less than two weeks. The second pig takes jujitsu and seems to last a little longer, but quits when he thinks he has learned enough. The third pig sticks it out and stays with karate until she earns her last belt. Of course, in the end the third pig is the one who saves the day.
I also really like the rhythm of the book. The text rhymed and had a good rhythm, which made reading it quite fun. The glossary at the back was also really helpful, especially if you don’t know the difference between aikido, jujitsu, and karate.
Final Thoughts: All in all an awesome book. Great illustrations and a great storyline lead to me being a very happy reader, and I can’t wait to review Ninja Red Riding Hood.
I give The Three Ninja Pigs five stars.