Leonard Leslie Brooke was a talented nineteenth/early twentieth century illustrator who also wrote some delightful children's books. He was well-known for his caricatures, portrait and landscape painting and sketches. He illustrated many children's books, especially those written by Andrew Lang. Some of his famous works are The Nursery Rhyme Book, The Golden Goose Book, Johnny Crow's Party and Ring O' Roses. The Story of the Three Little Pigs was published in 1904. Most readers would be familiar with this children's tale. The Big Bad Wolf was immortalized in Disney animated pictures, but here he is simply a Wolf. The illustrations by Leslie Brooke himself are realistic and the characters are not at all modified to look like cartoons. The Wolf looks quite terrifying and the little pigs look exactly like what they are. The end is quite gory and very small, sensitive children may find the whole story quite scary!
However, as a children's classic, The Story of the Three Little Pigs has entertained generations of children and parents too. The current volume contains just this one story and children may find the illustrations quite interesting and stimulating to the imagination. The Wolf's constant refrain, “I'll huff and I'll puff and I'll blow your house in!” is something that remains entrenched in the memory long after one has grown up.
The Story of the Three Little Pigs could also serve as a great platform for initiating discussions about safety, being smart enough to outwit your enemies, bonding with your siblings and how to take care of yourself when you leave home. Some of the lessons that can be instilled in young minds by reading this famous cautionary tale are about diligence, hard work, self discipline and respect for manual labor. Planning ahead, thinking ahead of your opponent and good and regular habits are some of the other topics that parents can discuss after reading this story. Using the right material for the right purpose is something that parents can advise can talk to heir children about. The first two pigs who used straw and sticks to build their houses found that these materials were totally unsuited. Only the brick house was able to withstand the Wolf's attack.
Brooke's work remains a charming and memorable children's story that is sure not to disappoint.
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