If you want some reflective summaries, the strengths and themes of a work, and connections to teach with and get more from the author, here is a sample of one of the many book reviews I do for children. You can find more under, “Analyzing Literature,” the children’s tab on my home page.
“The Three Pigs,” by David Wiesner
Summary: This is a story that starts out very similar to “The Three Little Pigs,” only to end up being very different. As the pigs slowly get their homes blown down, they all run to the last one when they suddenly discover that they can leave the story by exiting the photo. It’s then as though they are on a white space within the book, but for them, it’s not a book at all until they go and venture into other stories. By doing so, they completely change their fate, and meet many other characters.
Commentary of Strengths: This book does a very good job of depicting what is happening by the choice of images, as well as where the images are placed. It also gives off a very adventuresome, fun vibe, inviting children to keep reading. The theme seems to suggest that you can create your own story, rather than live out the one “written” for you. By trying something new and going somewhere they’ve never been, they’re able to save themselves from the wolf, and have fun along the way. The book also uses thought bubbles to show when the pigs are speaking, and has a great variation of color. It is durable with glossy pages, but as with a lot of picture books, there are no page numbers. At the end, even the letters on the page start to move, as though they are falling, suggesting that everything can change if shook up enough.
Teaching Ideas: As a middle and high school teacher, I find that when it comes to teaching ideas, I always find ways to make a picture book valuable, even for older students. This book thinks outside of the box, and is a great tool for showing students how to get creative on projections and presentations.
Connections: If you were wondering about some of the visuals of this book, check out this video:
This is an audio recording of another book by David Wiesner, “Hurricane.”
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