Sonderbooks Stand-out

Sonderbooks Book Review of

Too Many Pigs and One Big Bad Wolf

by Davide Cali and Marianna Balducci

Too Many Pigs and One Big Bad Wolf

by Davide Cali and Marianna Balducci

Review posted February 24, 2023.
Tundra Books, 2022. 32 pages.
Review written January 8, 2023, from my own copy.
Starred Review
2023 Mathical Book Prize Honor Book, Grades K-2
2022 Sonderbooks Standout:
#9 Silly Fun Picture Books

This very silly book is a counting book that's not really a counting book.

Here's how it begins:

Once upon a time, there were three little pigs.
Then the wolf ate them.

This story is too short!
I want a longer one!

In the longer story on the next page, there are four little pigs that get eaten.

And so it progresses, the narrator adding wild things to the story, the "reader" complaining, and the result always the same.

The pigs are drawn from beads on an abacus. There are not more than ten beads on a row, and often they're grouped by fives, so counting is easy.

The graphics, the silly stories, and the dialogue between the narrator and the objector are simply loads of fun. We never see the pigs get eaten, and there's a feeling that these are actors that are not really harmed, since the same abacus gets reused. So it keeps things light and silly, despite so very many pigs supposedly getting eaten.

This is another one you'll enjoy most if you check it out for yourself, as my description can't do justice to how much fun it is. You can throw in some counting when you read it to your kid, but I don't think they'll think of it as a counting book.