A Texas 2x2: The Three Ninja Pigs by Corey Rosen Schwartz
The Three Ninja Pigs is a clever and funny takeoff of The Three Little Pigs. The three pigs in this fractured fairy tale include two brothers and a sister who have had enough of the wolf and decide to train at the ninja school in town. They each study a different method of self-defense (jujitsu, aikido, and karate), but only the female pig successfully masters her skill after lots of practice. The two brothers weren’t committed to the work and dropped out of ninja school without mastering their craft. When the wolf comes for the bothers, their rookie skills aren’t enough and they end up running to their highly trained sister’s house. After watching Pig Three use her skills to send the wolf running, Pig One and Pig Two decide they want to head back to school to become Ninja Pigs.
The Three Ninja Pigs uses rhyming text to tell a familiar fairy tale with a twist. As an added bonus to this already great book, there is a strong, but not forced message of “hard work and perseverance pay off.” Kids involved in martial arts will enjoy all the familiar vocabulary words and references to the Japanese sport. For kids and adults with no background knowledge on martial arts, there is a glossary that includes pronunciations and definitions of the Japanese words used in the book. It would be helpful to go over some of these words with kids before reading the book to them so they are not thrown off by the vocabulary. The tricky vocabulary doesn’t take away from the funny story line and the message is still clear.
This fractured tale is action packed and hilariously funny. The author uses language that will have both kids and adults laughing out loud. When Pig One is telling the wolf to go away she says, “Stay out of my hut/or I’ll kick your big butt.” This type of humor is just what kids love. The cleverness is what will keep the adults tickled. Pig Three performs a perfect “pork chop” by breaking boards in half.
This story would be perfect to pair with a traditional version of The Three Little Pigs during a story time. See if you can notice any similarities and differences!