Although just about all of us think that we know the story of the three little pigs, in this comical picture book, A. Wolf clears up some misunderstandings. According to A. Wolf, we simply have not heard his side of the story — until now.
While we may believe that the wolf who visited the three little pigs huffed and puffed to blow the pigs' houses down, it turns out that he simply had a bad cold and had a powerful sneeze. Who could blame him for eating the pigs that died when their houses fell as a result of his sneezing?
Furthermore, the wolf was only visiting the pigs in the first place to borrow a cup of sugar to make a cake for his grandmother's birthday. The pigs wouldn't even give him any sugar!
When the third pig insulted his grandmother, A. Wolf "got a little crazy." The police found him trying to break down the pig's door, and news reporters wrote the story that we have come to know.
Before Reading the Book
A Traditional Tale?
Before reading The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs, ask for volunteers to tell the traditional story of the three little pigs. Let the volunteers take turns telling parts of the story. Then read The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs together with your class. Ask students to fold a piece of paper in half. On one side of the paper, they should make a list of what parts of this story are different from the traditional story. On the other side of the paper, they should make a list of what parts of the story are the same.
Point of View
In this retelling of the three little pigs, the author changes the point of view of the story. Usually readers sympathize with the pigs. Here, readers hear the wolf's side of the story. Ask students to write about whether or not they are convinced by the wolf's version of the story. Does he seem trustworthy? Why or why not?
A Letter to A. Wolf
Ask children to write a letter to A. Wolf in jail. Have them think about what more they would like to know about this wolf. What questions would they like to ask him about what happened to the pigs?
Read All About It!
Although The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs is funny, it does make the point that two different newspapers might cover the same story differently depending on who their readers are and on what those readers believe.
For example, A. Wolf's story appears in The Daily Wolf. The other news reports (that tell the story of the big and bad wolf) appear in The Daily Pig. The wolf paper and the pig paper seem to print the stories so that their own kind come out looking good.
Ask students to write about the story of the three little pigs as if they had watched nearby when the wolf visited each of the pigs. Their stories can appear in a newspaper called The Daily Human. Have students think about how would the story change if the police were human. Would it become a story about human beings instead of pigs? (For example, would the story be headlined "Police Save Pig?")
Act It Out!
Choose two groups of four students to act out the different versions of the Three Little Pigs. Ask the first group to act out the story as it's usually told-they may want to reread one of the versions of the traditional story before they begin. Have them write out what they will say during each of the three scenes-when the wolf visits the pig in the straw house, when the wolf visits the pig in the stick house, and when the wolf visits the pig in the brick house. Then, ask the second group to act out The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs Have the rest of the children in the class write about what they liked in each performance, and how the performances were different.
More Fairy Tale Fun
Ask children to think about other fairy tales that might change if they were told from a different point of view. For example, how would The Daily Wolf cover the story of Little Red Riding Hood? How would Cinderella's stepsisters tell her famous story? How would Snow White's stepmother explain what happened to her? Have children write their own versions of famous fairy tales with a twist.