Huff & Puff by Claudia Rueda

As its title alludes, instead of the usual focus on the three pigs and their houses, Huff & Puff gives the tale an ingeniously interactive and original twist by allowing the reader to have a first-person feel of the part of the wolf — likely inspired by the enthusiasm shown by kids when it comes to blowing out birthday candles (both their own and, ahem, otherwise).

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True enough, both my kids were so tickled by the book that I had to read it at least five times in a row! So as not to spoil the book experience, it suffices to say that this is possibly the most fun and genial version of the story you’ll ever read, with the cutest pen-and-watercolour pig illustrations and a surprise ending. The structure of the story is also such that it is mostly told through the illustrations, so text is kept to a minimum — i.e. perfect for toddlers.

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Pay attention to the details in the illustrations and you’ll also see the clues that the author/illustrator has dropped along the way, to hint that this is NOT the told-to-death porcine story — and thank goodness for that!

p.s. As with all fractured fairy tales, it’s best to read this book to kids who are already familiar with the traditional version of the story — although, really, who doesn’t know the gist of The Three Little Pigs?

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