THE THREE NINJA PIGS
New York Times
"A fractured fairy tale to outcharm the original, “The Three Ninja Pigs” manages to one-up the well-worn story by setting it in Japan, sprinkling it with the language and discipline of martial arts. All in hilarious, impeccable rhyme. (“The teacher said, ‘Excellent progress. / But Pig-san, you must study more.’ / Pig Two said, ‘No way. / Sayonara, Sensei! / I’m ready to settle a score.’ ”) Of course, Pig Three, a polite but fiercely trained female, triumphs, teaching the wolf, and her lazy brothers, a lesson. All against a marvelous, cherry-blossom background. "
School Library Journal
K-Gr 2-In this fractured fairy tale, three little pigs are portrayed as frustrated siblings fed up with a wolf that loves to huff and puff and blow houses down. In an attempt to protect their homes in their Japanese village, they train at a Ninja school. As the first brother begins aikido lessons, he finds himself bored and drops out, which gives him little defense when the wolf comes to call. Pig Two attempts his skill at jujitsu but his confidence is larger than his capabilities, and he is no match for the villain. Their sister is the only one who studies well and practices until she masters karate. When the wolf arrives at her door, she settles the score and sends him running. Learning a lesson from their gutsy sister, the brothers return to their classes with more determination and success. Unlike the original tale, the pigs are given responsibility for their misfortune and a chance for improvement. The story has a clear message that success requires perseverance. The text and glossary include martial-arts terms. Santat's artwork is in manga style and has wonderful depictions of Japanese scenery and architecture. The pigs are full of motion and emotion as they train and battle with the wolf. Youngsters with an interest in martial arts and those seeking strong female characters will relish this picture book.
"For young martial arts fans seeking a lighthearted book about their hobby, Schwartz’s story should fit the bill. . . . The idea of three gi-clad pigs fighting the big bad wolf is a winner." (Publishers Weekly)
"A standout among fractured fairy tales, masterfully combining rollicking limerick verse with a solid story. . . . Have the contact info for the local dojo handy--readers will want to try out these martial-arts styles for themselves." (Kirkus Reviews)
"This standout version has so much motion, action, and laughs, kids will feel like they’re hearing it for the first time. Schwartz’s clever rhyming text flows nicely, and illustrator Santat (who holds a black belt in shotokan) really gets into things." (Booklist)