Monday, November 05, 2012

The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs

Thanks, Lisa Moore, for a new look on a funny book!

Scieszka, J. (1989). The true story of the three little pigs. New York. Penguin Books.

I chose this book, The True Story of the Three Little Pigs because I predicted from the title it was going to be a different version than the traditional version we are familiar with. In this story the main character, Alexander T. Wolf, shares the story as he sees it. Alexander gives lots of proof as to why his story could hold up in court. He never intended any harm to come to the pigs. He went to their house with good intent, only to borrow a cup of sugar. This is where the story takes a fateful end to the three pigs.
I think this book would be excellent if you were teaching a unit on law. This shows how one innocent choice can lead to disaster for an individual. Was the wolf trespassing? Did the events of the day unfold the way we have always read? Was Alexander really framed? You can really analyze this story and see the wolf's point of view. He is quite convincing. However, he was living in a society of pigs. So in reality, he was a minority. Did he get a fair trial? Would you have found the wolf guilty had you been on the jury?
This is an animal fantasy story with characters having real life qualities. The animals are talking and behaving as humans. The animals are experiencing emotions and have the ability to reason. This also has elements of a fractured folktale in that it is being told from a new perspective, Alexander T. Wolf. I think this story could also be considered a quest story because the wolf is in pursuit of justice. He has had time to think about all of the chronological events that led to him being in jail. He wants his name cleared and wants readers to know he was wrongly accused.
This is a very good story. I think students have to understand the traditional version of the Three Little Pigs before reading this. I think reading this to readers that aren't familiar with the traditional story might confuse them.
Some questions I would ask students are the following: 1. Do you feel differently toward the wolf now that you have read his version of the story? Explain. 2. Explain what you think the author's purpose in telling this version of the story? 3. Did the wolf's reasons and evidence make you think he is telling the truth?

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