Reviews for Where's the Big Bad Wolf?


Booklist Monthly Selections - #2 October 2002
PreS-Gr. 1. Variations on the story of the "Three Little Pigs" are hardly in short supply, but this comic version has its his own pleasures, including a dumb dog detective and a wily wolf, who is literally in sheep's clothing. It's not that Detective Doggedly hasn't previously caught Big Bad Wolf, the town's only criminal. However, every time he intercepts Wolf committing a crime, Doggedly lets him go, relying on Wolf's promise that he'll never do it again. Of course, when the homes of the three little pigs keep getting blown down, the Wolf is the chief suspect. But Wolf is at home sick in bed, and the only animal at the scene of the crime is a kindly sheep who seems to be offering the pigs aid and advice ("Build a stick house. It's so easy!"). What's a detective to believe? Kids will know the answer; even little ones will be able to spot the wolf's visage under the woolly curls. As usual, Christelow provides cartoon-style artwork of the highest quality, complete with balloon dialogue. There's fun in both text and pictures, and here familiarity breeds hilarity. ((Reviewed October 15, 2002)) Copyright 2002 Booklist Reviews

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Horn Book Guide Reviews 2003 Spring
Canine police detective Doggedly tries to protect the three little pigs when their houses are blown down. Doggedly's top suspect, the Big Bad Wolf, seems to have an alibi. But what about Esmeralda, a rather wolfish-looking ""sheep"" who has taken a sudden interest in the three porkers? Doggedly prevails in this amusing variation on the fairy tale, which features appropriately comical art. Copyright 2003 Horn Book Guide Reviews

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Kirkus Reviews 2002 July #2
Three little pigs get some real bad advice from a wolf in a real goofy sheep disguise in this comical whodunit. The three little pigs are having their homes blown down-and escaping by the hair of their chinny-chin-chins-and Detective Doggedly believes it might be the work of the shiftless, no-account neighborhood wolf, the infamous BBW. But the only character found at the crime scenes is a newcomer to town: Esmeralda the sheep. Sure, kids will note, Esmeralda their foot, for her disguise is pretty transparent. She has also been giving the pigs construction ideas: straw is good, twigs are good, and cardboard's not bad. Two cows suggest a brick house, which foils the wolf and ends in his unveiling and incarceration. Short-term incarceration, that is, as he's soon back, this time tricked out as a horse, with more self-serving recommendations: "Pick peas after midnight, when everybody is asleep. They'll taste sweeter." So what if there are a few inexplicables here-How did the wolf con his way into that hospital bed?-this is good clownish fun, and the rough-and-tumble art keeps the farce bubbling. (Picture book. 4-7) Copyright Kirkus 2002 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved

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Publishers Weekly Reviews 2002 July #2
Christelow (The Great Pig Search) offers more animals who bamboozle slow-witted innocents in this rib-tickling take on the Three Little Pigs. Canine detective Phineas T. Doggedly asserts, "There's only one no-good rascal in this town... the Big Bad Wolf!" So when "a big gust of wind Hufffs and Pufffs," he sets out to round up the usual suspect, who's nowhere to be found. The fact that an odd-looking sheep named Esmerelda happens to be strolling by every time disaster strikes seems odd to the sleuth, but, he says, "I just can't quite put my paw on what it is." Young readers will likely spy the big gray nose sticking out of Esmerelda's white wool long before Phineas does, and will follow the action with relish. Comic-book-style panels alternate with full-bleed spreads as Doggedly's midnight stake-outs fail to produce results. When he finally nabs the wolf ("This no-good, pig-poaching, huffing, puffing, wolf-in-sheep's-clothing is under arrest!") the scoundrel spends a couple of nights in jail before he's back to his usual tricks. The familiar story line allows Christelow to include plenty of details and extra cast members; two elderly cows in bathrobes provide comic running commentary. Both adults and children will enjoy listening to Esmerelda urge the pigs to put down those bricks: "Build a cardboard house. It's so much easier!" Ages 5-8. (Sept.) Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.

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School Library Journal Reviews 2002 September
Gr 1-2-A determined Detective Doggedly pursues the elusive BBW (Big Bad Wolf) in a delicious parody of the traditional tale. Three dim-witted and naive pigs, a wolf with a taste for unusual costuming, and three sharp-eyed residents of the nearby "Home for Elderly Cows" create a mystery worthy of the slightly befuddled detective: who is destroying the pigs' houses, when the wolf is currently hospitalized with mysterious flulike symptoms? Doggedly catches the culprit, but one doubts that this "egg-snatching, pie-pinching, chicken-chasing, pig-poaching" villain is ready to change his habits when released. Christelow's pen-and-ink and gouache cartoons show sticks and straw flying across pages, the not-too-bright protagonist, and a hilarious wolf in sheep's clothing. Characters comment on all the goings-on in dialogue balloons that add to the fun and humor. Pair this book with Jon Scieszka's True Story of the Three Little Pigs (Viking, 1989), another choice for lovers of fractured tales.-Mary Elam, Forman Elementary School, Plano, TX Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.

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