Reviews for Three Hungry Pigs And The Wolf Who Came To Dinner

Booklist Reviews 2005 November #2
K-Gr. 2. No huffing and puffing occurs in this tale from the creator of The Camel's Lament (2004) and numerous folklore retellings, but one finds stray whiffs of both "The Three Little Pigs" and "Little Red Riding Hood" in its unusual story line. Truffle-hunting pig Bianca is put to pasture after consuming the merchandise: "Bianca decided she loved eating truffles even more than hunting them!" While braving the woodlands of Alba, Italy (the region specializing in the fungal delicacies, an author's note explains), Bianca and her two piglets face a hungry wolf, but her quick thinking whets the predator's appetite for truffles over pork. The happy ending is too abrupt, and the child appeal of food that exudes a "musky aroma" is pretty much zilch. Still, many children will be drawn to Santore's beautifully finished watercolors, as compelling in depictions of dramatically emoting animal characters as in bird's-eye views of the sun-toasted countryside. Pair this, perhaps, with dePaola's Strega Nona, for another Italian tale about a gourmand who can't get enough of a good thing. ((Reviewed November 15, 2005)) Copyright 2005 Booklist Reviews.

Horn Book Guide Reviews 2006 Spring
After Bianca, a truffle-hunting pig, begins sampling rather than just digging up the elusive fungus, the farmer banishes her and her piglets to the woods. When a wolf threatens them, Bianca pops a truffle into his mouth, and soon the two form an unusual alliance in this satisfying story. Santore's first foray into oil painting results in rich illustrations infused with vibrant autumn hues. Copyright 2006 Horn Book Guide Reviews.

Kirkus Reviews 2005 October #2
In this original, and decidedly un-Aesopian, fable, wolf and pigs fall in together with unwontedly happy results. Banished by the farmer for eating the truffles she's only supposed to be sniffing out, Bianca and her two piglets pass a nervous night in the woods. The next day gets off to a bad start too when a huge wolf appears-but Bianca adroitly pops a truffle into his mouth. He likes it so much that he not only gives over his predatory intentions, and later saves the pigs from an entire pack of wolves, but ultimately becomes the piglets' nanny while mama pig's out keeping the larder stocked. Working in oils, Santore creates a serene Italian hill country setting, gives the looming wolf a suitably shaggy look and leaves the unlikely family unit living "happily ever after." Though not as clever a twist as Eugene Trivizas's classic Three Little Wolves and the Big Bad Pig (1993), illustrated by Helen Oxenbury, this also presents an alternative to traditional adversarial encounters between predator and prey. (Picture book. 6-8) Copyright Kirkus 2005 Kirkus/BPI Communications. All rights reserved.

Publishers Weekly Reviews 2005 October #3

Bianca the pig, a champion hunter of the tartufo d'Alba--the Italian hill country's white truffle (according to an opening note)--has trained her piglets to walk in her footsteps. Then one day, Bianca decides to taste the fungi instead of forage for them, and "everything changed forever." Her farmer owner banishes her to the forest, where Bianca and her brood soon encounter a hungry wolf. Thinking fast, the porcine heroine introduces the potential predator to the joys of truffles; he forgets all about his natural diet and becomes an utterly devoted bodyguard, defending the pigs from a "drooling, snarling" pack of wolves. Santore (A Stowaway on Noah's Ark ) thus draws his story to a happily-sated, ever-after close. In his operatic, painterly pictures, the colors are radiant, the characters larger-than-life, and the landscapes resonate with sweep and emotion (particularly the brooding scenes in the forest). But the book's boxy format seems to cramp Santore's style--it often feels as if there's barely room for the text. That problem, however, is superseded by a bigger one: aside from a brief, vague introductory note on the dedication page, youngsters never learn why truffles are so sought-after, or, most importantly, what they taste like. Ultimately readers may walk away wondering why the stakes are so high for the cruel farmer and why the wolf fights its instincts. Ages 4-8. (Oct.)

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School Library Journal Reviews 2005 October

Gr 1-3 -When Bianca, a truffle-hunting pig, discovers that eating the mushrooms is even better than finding them, her owner sends her and her piglets away. Despite a scary night alone, life in the fungi-filled deep woods seems like the perfect place for the porker and her young. But danger intrudes upon their bliss when a hungry wolf stops by looking for a meal. Before he can get a taste for pork, Bianca pops a truffle into his mouth. Quickly the wolf is hooked, and together they search for the delicious treat. When the rest of the pack comes looking for a less vegetarian meal, Bianca's wolf comes to her rescue and saves the day. Then, the truffle-loving wolf and the truffle-finding pig family live happily ever after. While Santore's descriptive text is effective in evoking fearful emotions, it is balanced with scenes of happiness and hints of humor. The creative placement of the type and the use of bold reinforce some of the action. Rich with fall hues, the oil illustrations are a perfect complement to the text. The detail of the full-page paintings and full-bleed spreads beautifully reinforces the emotions and actions of the tale. A good choice for one-on-one sharing or to juxtapose with a story of a big bad wolf.-Catherine Callegari, San Antonio Public Library, TX

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