Check out these fun versions of The Three Little Pigs!
We love reading different versions of familiar tales! In fact we’ve already shared a number of book lists – The Little Red Hen, The Three Billy Goats Gruff, Hansel & Gretel, and The Princess and the Pea. But I have to say that of all of them, we’ve seen the most variety in the versions of The Three Little Pigs.
You’ll definitely want to reserve these at your library! (And if you don’t want to jot them all down, no problem!
I’ve included the guided reading levels as a reference. (For more about guided reading levels, check out this post.)
The Three Little Pigs, by James Marshall
guided reading level: L
We absolutely love Marshall’s version of the familiar tale. The text doesn’t stray too far from the original, but Marshall’s unique sense of humor brings the story alive. Plus, the illustrations are hilarious.
We own this one, and I’ve read it too many times to count.
Where’s the Big Bad Wolf? by Eileen Christelow
guided reading level: L
I wasn’t overly impressed with this book, but my Four and Six loved it. Detective Doggedly is on the hunt for the Big Bad Wolf; somehow, the wolf is always missing at the scene of the crime.
The book is a good one for teaching kids to make inferences; they’ll discover that the sheep Esmerelda is really the wolf in disguise, and that the wolf conveniently checks himself into the hospital after each crime spree.
The True Story of the Three Little Pigs, by Jon Scieszka
guided reading level: Q
This modern classic is fantastic for teaching about point of view. As it turns out, the wolf wasn’t big and bad at all. In fact, he was just knocking on the pigs’ doors for a cup of sugar for his granny’s birthday cake. When the rude pigs refused to share, the sick wolf sneezed and blew their houses down. If you haven’t read this one, you need to reserve it stat.
Perfect for early elementary listeners!
The Three Little Pigs, by Barry Moser
guided reading level: K
This is a rather dark version of the familiar tale, and not my favorite. The wolf eats the first two pigs (as evidenced by the pile of bones and hot sauce), and the illustrations (while amazing) feel creepy.
I think it would be a good choice if you’re choosing versions for older students to compare using a Venn diagram. But it wouldn’t be my first choice for reading aloud to kids in preschool and kindergarten.
The Three Little Pigs, by Steven Kellogg
guided reading level: M
This is a zany retelling of the traditional tale in true Steven Kellogg style. Serafina Pig has three piglets to raise. As she wonders how to support her young family, she decides to begin a waffle business. Her three children stay close by to help her run the wafflery, but Tempesto the Wolf stirs up trouble for everyone. We own this one, and the kids have all loved it; there’s always something new to discover in the pictures.
The Three Little Wolves and the Big Bad Pig, by Eugene Trivizas
guided reading level: O
I think you will either love or hate this book. It’s definitely a fractured fairy tale — the three little wolves go out into the world to build a home, only to be thwarted by a truly diabolical pig at every turn. The pig destroys their brick house with a sledgehammer, their concrete house with a pneumatic drill, and their armor plated house with dynamite. Despite the violence, the illustrations are beautifully done.
I didn’t like this book the first time I read it, but my first grader loved it.
The Three Little Javelinas, by Susan Lowell
I have a special place in my heart for this one, since I taught in Arizona and had a student who told me that javelinas regularly visited his yard. This really is a wonderful southwestern adaptation. It takes place in the Sonoran desert (where I taught), and features three little javelinas who are harassed by the big bad Coyote. The three homes are built of tumbleweed, saguaro cactus ribs, and adobe bricks.
The Three Little Rigs, by David Gordon
This is a creative retelling in which the three pigs are actually three little rigs, and the big bad wolf is actually a big bad wrecking ball. I think the book is a bit dark for toddlers and young preschoolers. That said, my first grader loved it.
The Three Little Fish and the Big Bad Shark, by Ken Geist
In this retelling, three fish (Jim, Tim, and Kim) go off to make their home in the deep blue sea. But the big bad shark is always at the door. “I’ll munch and I’ll crunch, and I’ll smash your house in!” I wasn’t impressed with this version; the illustrations are not impressive, and the font is awkward. However, my Four requested it often.
The Three Ninja Pigs, by Corey Rosen Schwartz
This is a delightful fractured fairy tale, in which the three pigs go to Ninja school in preparation for fighting the big bad wolf. As in other versions, the first two pigs aren’t fond of hard work; they jump out of their training early, and they aren’t able to defeat the wolf. But the third pig earns her black belt in karate; her flips and kicks scare the wolf away for good.
We loved the silly dialogue and tongue-in-cheek rhyming text. Recommended for sure!
The Three Pigs, by David Wiesner
This is a version unlike any you’ve seen before. The pictures are phenomenal (the book won the Caldecott medal), but the story is confusing for young listeners.
Things get weird right away when the wolf blows the first pig right out of the story … and into another world that lies somewhere between fairy tales. The book is so out there that it’s a little tough for me to write a review.
I think that older kids will enjoy this version, but I don’t recommend it for preschoolers.
The Three Little Pigs and the Somewhat Bad Wolf, by Mark Teague
I absolutely love Mark Teague’s illustrations, and his pigs are the very best (check out Pigsty and the Poppleton books if you haven’t seen them yet). This is a cheerful version without any scary parts. In the end, the pigs and the wolf become friends.
Tell the Truth, B.B. Wolf! by Judy Sierra
This book struck me as a little off, and I just couldn’t get into it. But it’s definitely an interesting twist on the familiar story. It’s years later, and the wolf is living at a senior center. A librarian calls and asks him to tell his story at the library. When the wolf tries to tell his side (with quite a few fabrications), the other fairy tale animals interrupt him one after the other. “Tell the truth, B.B. Wolf!”
In the end, the wolf apologizes for his past crimes and builds the pigs a piggyback mansion.
Blow Your Nose, Big Bad Wolf, by Steve Smallman
I actually did not read this book to my toddler and preschooler because of the name-calling (the pigs call the wolf “Snot-Face”), but it’s actually a cute fractured fairytale. Even though the wolf’s name is Big Bad, he’s actually very nice; he just has a bad cold. When he comes to the first pig’s door asking for a tissue, he sneezes and accidentally blows the house down. And so it goes, until he climbs down the third pig’s chimney to get a tissue himself.
The Three Little Tamales, by Eric A. Kimmel
guided reading level: M
This creative version is set in Texas near Mexico. The story is engaging, the illustrations are endearing, and the book even incorporates Spanish vocabulary. A win all around!
Three Little Cajun Pigs, by Mike Artell
I wasn’t sure about this one at first, because I have a really hard time reading books with a Cajun accent. But once I got the hang of it, I started to like it -and my Four loved it!
When the three pigs’ mother kicks them out of their Louisiana home, the pigs build their own houses. But Claude “dat big gator” is always nearby. Definitely worth checking out at the library!
Wait! No Paint! by Bruce Whatley
My first grader loved this book. It begins like a traditional three little pigs story, but trouble arrives when the illustrator spills his juice on the straw house. Things only get worse when he starts to run out of paint, and the pigs are white instead of pink. We like this silly twist on the classic.
The Three Little Pigs, by HarrietZiefert
guided reading level: H
This easy reader is just right for kids reading at about a mid-first grade level. It’s not especially interesting, so I wouldn’t choose it as a read aloud.
The Three Little Pigs, by Paul Galdone
guided reading level: L
This is a vintage tale that tells the story in the traditional way (the wolf eats the first two pigs). At the end, the third pig eats the wolf. If you prefer the classic version of the story, this is a good one to read aloud.
The Three Little Pigs, by Margot Zemach
guided reading level: L
Like Galdone’s version, this is a vintage tale that sticks to the classic version. The illustrations give it a slightly different feel than Galdone’s book, but the two are very similar.
The Three Horrid Little Pigs, by Liz Pichon
This is a fun variation, in which it’s the pigs who are horrid. In fact, their frazzled mother throws them out. “I’ve had enough of you pesky pigs!” The lazy pigs have no desire to build houses, and the first two pigs’ homes are so poorly built that the wolf (a construction worker) politely asks to come in so he might help them rebuild. And the third pig is so lazy he doesn’t build a house at all; he moves into the chicken coop! In the end, the wolf helps the pigs overcome their nastiness and teaches them how to build a strong, sturdy house.
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