CM . . . . Volume XVII Number 31. . . .April 15, 2011.
Happy Birthday, Big Bad Wolf.
Toronto, ON: Kids Can Press, 2011.
32 pp., hardcover, $18.95.
Preschool-grade 2 / Ages 4-7.
Review by Natalie Schembri.
“You pigs are crazy,” growled the Big Bad Wolf. “My birthday was weeks ago.”
“Oh, sorry,” said Poppa Pig with a nervous grin. “We were … uh … too busy to throw you a birthday party then. But we were hoping this would do. You know what they say: better late than never!”
“Throw me a party?” said the Big Bad Wolf. “No one ever threw me a birthday party before!”
Frank Asch’s story, Happy Birthday, Big Bad Wolf, tells a humorous rendition of the traditional tale of the Three Little Pigs. This delightful fractured fairy tale is about the Big Bad Wolf’s first birthday party experience with the Pig family. When Big Bad Wolf, prompted by Little Pig, unexpectedly stays for a birthday surprise party, Momma and Poppa Pig are anxious as to whether the Pig Family will become the main course. “Hmmm…Pigs for dinner and cake for dessert,” thought the Big Bad Wolf. “That sounds just fine to me.”
Little Pig is very excited to share chocolate cake, presents, games, and birthday cheer with the Big Bad Wolf—especially since the Big Bad Wolf has never had a birthday party before. But when Momma and Poppa Pig plan a clever escape, the Big Bad Wolf cries, “Boo hoo!” Now what will the Pig Family do?
Happy Birthday, Big Bad Wolf is an especially unique fractured fairy tale. Frank Asch provides young readers with unanticipated and heartwarming results to the traditional story of The Three Little Pigs. Through humorously captivating text and bright, bold, and colourful illustrations, Happy Birthday, Big Bad Wolf radiates Little Pig’s spirit of friendship.
I would highly recommend including Happy Birthday, Big Bad Wolf in a school or public library collection. Frank Asch will evoke a sense of curiosity in young readers through his unique twist on a traditional fairy tale.
Natalie Schembri, a Masters student living in London, ON, is glad the Big Bad Wolf finally had a birthday party.
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