Five Classic Tales
Finished: Mar. 10, 2011
First Published: Sep. 30, 2008
Publisher: A Neal Porter Book
Genre: graphic novel, children's book, fairy tales
Once upon a time, three little pigs -- Alan, Gordon, and Blake -- set off to make their way in the world.
Acquired: Borrowed a copy through Inter-Library Loan.
Reason for Reading: The sequel to this book was nominated for a Cybils '10 graphic novel award but the publisher didn't send us judges a review copy and none of us were able to find a copy to read in time. A couple of panelists, who had been judges since this book was nominated, expressed remorse since they had enjoyed this first book so much. I decided I'd give this a read while I wait until the other book is old enough (required by my library system) to have an ILL request put in for it.
A mixture between retelling and "fractured" fairy tales as the husband/wife team put into graphic format five popular classic fairy tales, each one featuring a wolf. And in this version, not just "a" wolf but the exact same wolf. The fairy tales start off quite true to form with the most popular ones "The Three Little Pigs", "The Boy Who Cried Wolf" and then start to fracture with "Little Red Riding Hood". By this time the wolf has become the main character of the book and has quite a personality and while the last two tales resemble the originals they have become fractured by the pure largeness of the wolf's charisma. These are "The Wolf in Sheep's Clothing" and "The Wolf and the Seven Little Goslings".
The story is hilarious actually as each time the wolf who is a dandy, and happens to be hungry, is always outwitted by the food he tries to catch. Zoe has a wonderful sense of humour and just her little additions to these tales make you laugh, like the Pigs having names, as does Riding Hood who is a stuck up girl who loves the colour red and shopping, she and the wolf get along quite well until he dares to frighten her grandma. Then there's the time when the wolf in sheep's clothing, which he found as a rug at Grandma's because Red had ripped off his Grannie's nightie, decides to go back to the "Boy Who Cried Wolf"s flock and fit in under disguise so he can finally capture his supper. But as one of the sheep says "Does he think we all have wool between our ears?" they are onto him at once.
A wonderful presentation of common fairy tales/folktales with a twist and side order of humour make this a delightful book to read. I grinned from ear to ear as I read the whole thing through. I will say, though, that this book is huge!! It is not going to fit on a bookshelf. Too tall to stand up and if you put it spine up it will stick out so far you'll be bumping into it or it won't stay on your shelf if they are narrow. Just give the book to the kids and let them tote it around and find places to store it when it's not being read. I'm sure they will come up with better ideas than the grown ups! I'm really looking forward to getting my hands on the sequel now "There's a Princess in the Palace".