© 2002 by Eileen Christelow
Detective Phineas T. Doggedly does not hold the Big Bad Wolf in high esteem. He knows that the Wolf is a "low-down, no-good, chicken-chasing, pig-poaching rascal." Every time he is caught committing a crime, the Wolf is repentant and promises to behave, but his recidivism rate is 100%.
One day while Detective Doggedly is driving down the road, a sudden gust of wind blows by. It sounds similar to huffing and puffing - straw goes flying everywhere. Doggedly investigates, confident that he will find the Wolf up to criminal mischief, yet again. Doggedly sees three little pigs in distress, their straw house destroyed. He is flummoxed, when instead of the Wolf, he sees a sheep. The sheep introduces herself as Esmeralda. When questioned about her presence, she explains that she happened to be walking by "just in time to rescue these delectable little piggies!"
This story and the illustrations are hysterical. My personal favorite is of the Big Bad Wolf, feigning
illness, wearing pig slippers and a bathrobe embroidered with "BBW." The illustrations also provide evidence that belie the Big Bad Wolf's protests of innocence. The kids like studying the illustrations and pointing out the clues. It makes them feel quite smug to be more clever than Detective Phineas T. Doggedly.
There exists a plethora of retellings of the classic Three Little Pigs tale. The retellings are usually from the pigs' perspective but more recently, some have been told from that of the wolf's. Eileen Christelow writes from a unique third perspective - that of a detective. Where's the Big Bad Wolf? is by far the kids' favorite version. Ms. Christelow informed me that, of the books she has written, it is one of her favorites also.