Tuesday, November 8, 2011

The TTLG 2011 Picture Book Celebration: Book three hundred and twelve

When I was a child, I never really like the story of the three little pigs. Though other children seemed to find it captivating, I did not. I was very grateful therefore when I my daughter did not show any great interest in the story. I was spared having to read about the three little pigs and their misadventures over and over again. 

In the last few years I have encountered some very clever versions of the famous tale, versions that I actually enjoy because they are different. Today's picture book is just such a title. 

Margaret McNamara
Illustrated by Mark Fearing
Picture Book
For ages 4 to 6
Random House, 2011, 978-0-375-86689-0
  Far away, on the planet Mercury, three little aliens live with their mother. One day Bork, Gork, and Nklxwcyz’s mother tells her three children that they need to “find a planet of your own,” and soon the three aliens are zooming off into space.
   Before they left home Bork, Gork, and Nklxwcyz’s mother cautioned them to “watch out for the Big Bad Robot” and to “Always stick together,” but when they get to Mars, Bork sees a space rover travelling across the surface of the planet and she decides to make it her home. She leaves her sibling and sets up house inside the rover.
   When Gork and Nklxwcyz get to Jupiter, Gork starts riding on a satellite that is circling the giant planet. Though Nklxwcyz warns his brother that living on “a ring that goes around in circles” is a bad idea, Gork pays no attention to him and he goes whizzing off astride the satellite.
   Sensible Nklxwcyz builds himself a solid house on distant Neptune, where he hopes he will be safe from the Big Bad Robot. He never imagines that in the not too distant future he is going to have to face his greatest enemy.
   In this delightful version of the story of the three little pigs, the author and illustrator take us on an exciting journey across our solar system with three amusing alien characters who learn, the hard way, that it is generally a good idea to do what your mother tells you.

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