Rating: 5 stars
“The Three Ninja Pigs” by Corey Rosen Schwartz and illustrated by Dan Santat is a tale similar to the original “Three Pigs,” but it is much, much more. This modernized, multicultural version will lead to some great discussions either at home or in the classroom.
The three pigs live in a town where a wolf has been terrorizing the residents. For protection, they each study a different form of Japanese martial arts. However, true to the classic tale, the first two piggies soon tire of all the practice and hard work involved and drop out of class.
When the wolf comes knocking at their door, although they try they are unequal to the task of sending him on his way. They all flee to the house of the third piggy.
This piggy, a hard-working, dedicated girl, has practiced long and hard to earn all her belts. She is a “weapon,” as she warns the wolf. And, of course, she is able to send him packing.
The story is told in cleverly constructed rhyme and is fun to read aloud. For example, when the wolf arrives at the third piggy’s house, the author writes, “The chase carried on to their sister’s. Pig Three was outside in her gi. ‘I’m a certified weapon, so watch where you’re steppin’. You don’t want to start up with me!'”
The moral is that hard work and dedication pay off in the end. Women and girls will love that it’s the sister who finally beats the wolf and protects her brothers in the process.
Everyone will love the Japanese themed artwork, the Japanese martial arts vocabulary, and the rhythm of the story.
Please note: This review is based on the final picture book provided by the publisher, Putnam Juvenile, for review purposes.