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The Three Little Wolves and the Big Bad Pig Hardcover – 14 Jan 1994

4.7 out of 5 stars 85 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Prentice Hall & IBD; Library Binding edition (14 Jan. 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0689505698
  • ISBN-13: 978-0689505690
  • Product Dimensions: 22.9 x 0.8 x 30.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (85 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,397,114 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

From the Author

PIGS AND WOLVES- EXCLUSION EXCALAION AND STEREOTYPING
My book ''the three little wolves and the big bad pig'' is not just an irreverent play with a traditional theme. The story offers an alternative way of looking at certain important issues. Indeed it was my experience as a criminologist and criminal law specialist that prompted me to write the story.In the traditional story the wolf demolishes two houses made of straw and wood . Only when the little pigs build a third house made of brick, they are really safe. The big bad wolf is unable to blow it down and his desperate attempt to violate their sanctuary by entering through the chimney ends in his horrific death in a kettle of boiling water. What does this story tell us? What messages does it transmit to the contemporary reader? The first message conveyed by the original story is that if you want be secure you should retreat to and be surrounded by progressively stronger and stronger structures. The recommended policy is exclusion, isolation, distrust and prevention of communication. The problem with this attitude is that exclusion often leads to escalation. This has clear parallels not only in the arms race debate, but also in the area of criminal justice Each and every method of protection leads to corresponding ways of circumventing and neutralising it. Weapons are getting progressively more lethal and violence more dangerous. Exclusion is detrimental also for the potential victims. We have reached the point instead of imprisoning or imposing house arrest to the criminal , we do it for the victim. As Linda Phillips Ashour points out in the New York Times, in her review of the TLW - this is a reminder ''on how many of us live today with fear and 37 padlocks.'' Moreover by excluding, stigmatising and isolating we may reinforce or even create whatever danger we are afraid of. Isolation and segregation make illegal activities even more attractive for the offender. In my version of the story an alternative message is conveyed. The three little wolves erect first a solid brick house. The big bad pig comes along and when huffing and puffing fails to work, he uses a sledgehammer to bring the house down. Next the wolfs build a home of concrete: The pig demolishes it with his pneumatic drill. The three little wolves choose an even stronger design next time round: They erect a house, made of steel, , barbed wire armour plates and video entry system, but the pig blows it up with dynamite. It is only when the wolves construct a rather fragile house made of flowers, that the pig pauses to smell the lovely scent, has a change of heart, realises how horrible he has been, undergoes a radical transformation, and he becomes a big good pig. The wolves invite the pig inside the house and the story ends with a party with strawberries and wolfberies (the summary is composed of review extracts) Instead of confrontation, exclusion and destruction - this version of the story advocates communication, reintegration, inclusion and restoration of trust. The message is not only that beauty facilitates change, and sometimes tenderness may work better than toughness, but that by being open we may be able to win over our adversary. There is no denying that this way of responding to adversaries in certain circumstances is appropriate, in others inappropriate and certainly it has its risks and dangers, but so does the attitude recommended in the original story. The second message conveyed by the original tale is that there are clearly differentiated good and evil characters.In my reworking of the story, instead of the three little pigs and a big bad wolf, we have three cuddly little wolves and a nasty pig bad pig. That is not only a deliberate reversal of the bad press given to wolves but a reversal of good and evil characters in general. Wolves are not necessarily the embodiment of evil, nor always something to be loathed. Indeed it may be easier to make friends with a wolf than a pig. An educator Joyce Wakenshaw wrote to me from Switzerland , raising among others, the point that this role reversal is confusing.ŒFor generations The wolf has been used in children¹s stories to depict evil, something to be feared and what is wrong with that? If the child listens to the story in a safe environment he - she can come to terms with fear. Why not let the wolf represent all that is bad? Because I wanted to move away from good and evil characters to a distinction between good and evil acts. My story is indeed an attempt to overcome the stereotyping of good and bad. ''It is important as B.Thomson points out to teach ''children to consider acts rather than stereotypes. There are good and bad deeds no good and pad persons. Not all pigs are bad and not all wolves are good. There is good and bad in everyone. 'Stereotyping character rather than acts is sometimes dangerous because it excuses corruption, promotes persecution of minorities. and carries the risk of the so called ''self-fulfilling prophesy''. One of the difficulties of the present way of looking a things is that it establishes a false dichotomy not between good and evil but people who defined as good or bad .Children B. Thonson remarks have often far more to fear in their domestic setting than from outsiders. ''Many children have had to suffer abuse 'in silence because they were unable to convince anyone that their ³good² parents or other persons in positions of trust were abusing them - precisely because everyone believed in the good character stereotype.' If we treat people as representatives of stereotypes rather than as individuals, a relgious comentator remarked ''we are responding less to what the other person did and more to the image of the other person that is called upon by the name we have give him. This dichotomy further deepens the gulf between offender and society and makes it even more difficult to achieve the aim of bringing him back to the community''. A child told me the other day : Everybody knows why wolves are bad . Because they is eating pigs. - So do humans I answered. Are we also all bad?

About the Author

Helen Oxenbury grew up in Ipswich and worked on sets and scenery in theatre, film and TV, before she started illustrating children's books. She illustrated the Kate Greenaway Medal-winning Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll, Smarties Book Prize-winning Farmer Duck by Martin Waddell and a number of board books for babies.

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on 1 Nov. 1999
Format: Paperback
A very funny and lively book, loved by every child (from 1 to 10 )that I have ever read it to. It turns the traditional story on its head and has a truely happy ending. Excellent illustrations. It can be read over and over again. Everyone should read it. Great for school, where I have used it a lot (loads of work flows out of it, I did a class assembly on it) and great to cuddle up and read at home.
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Format: Hardcover
We have had this story so many times from the library that I have now got to buy a copy. It's based on a reversal of the story of the three little pigs, a subversion which the children think is funny to start with, but there's more to it than that. Three little wolves build successively more secure houses with increasingly interesting building materials to keep themselves safe from the Big Bad Pig, and the pig uses a sledgehammer, a pneumatic drill and finally explosives to destroy them. This whole process is fascinating to a three year old boy. After this escalation, there's then a lovely peaceful end to the story where the wolves realize that super-secure construction isn't the answer and try a different approach involving sweet-scented flowers which reform the pig and he moves in with the wolves. There are surely lessons on life to be drawn here but for the children it's just a great action-packed story with additional fun to be had spotting the teapot throughout the book. Helen Oxenbury's illustrations are lovely - with a touch of menace in the earlier pictures and lovely colourful jubilant ones at the end.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Absolutely love this book. The twist on the story of the three little pigs is really well thought out and a great hit especially for little boys who aren't keen on reading books. The book arrived as stated it was also in good condition when it arrived. But have to say very disappointed at the Royal Mail asked for it to be delivered at neighbours if not at home but they didn't and had to go to postal collection point which was a bit of a nuisance, but otherwise really, really, pleased with the book hence the 5*****
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Format: Paperback
children find building sites facsinating enough, now they get to see where reinforced steel chains and slurry cement really come in useful. had me and me 4 year old in stiches! and a happy ending, a few deep breathes pretending to smell the flowers, and everyone gets a good nights sleep. certainly takes the spook out of wolves.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A few years ago I bought this for my cousin's young children, and they greatly enjoyed it. This year I bought it for my own five-year-old twins, and they also loved it. And it's also very funny for mummies and daddies.

As will probably be obvious from the title, it reverses the tale of the three little pigs and the big bad wolf. But where the big bad wolf was an arch loser who only managed to be dangerous because the first two pigs were silly, in this story the big bad pig is as smart as he is mean.

Probably the ideal time to introduce this to your children is when they have just started to get bored with or see the holes in the traditional versions of all the favourite stories - it would not be as funny to someone who did not know the story of the three little pigs.

Very strongly recommended.
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Format: Paperback
As a year 3 teacher my class and myself loved this book. We got lots of work from it and now wish to write to the author. The children came up with some excellent ideas for a sequel which I think would make a great follow up.
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Format: Hardcover
A thoroughly original and modern 'take' on the much loved favourite of the three little pigs and the big, bad wolf. My children [aged 5 and 7 ] definitely prefer this version.The illustrations add to the humour and irony. Our reading led to some profound discussion about violence, pacifism and reconciliation [ in child speak, of course]. I can't understand readers who find the moral confusing. Doesn't anyone remember flower power?
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Once you have introduced the classics and your child is old enough to appreciate the twists in this book (which doesn't have to be very old at all) this is a truly great read. I bought this when my little boy was 3 and he loved it from the start. It is just plain silly in many ways and has loads of scope for different voices but has a simple moral to the tale. A very entertaining bed time read for adults and children.
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