Thursday, September 13, 2012

Tell the Truth, B.B. Wolf by Judy Sierra

 Tell the Truth, B.B. Wolf by Judy Sierra, illustrated by Jotto Seibold

Rating: 4 stars

When I was a kid, my dad always chose the bad guys as his favorite characters.  He'd root for Captain Hook and the Wicked Witch of the West.  He'd cheer for anyone dressed in black, anyone walking around sneakily, looking suspect.  Now, it is really amusing to watch him stick up for bad guys in front of my kids.  Conversations (mini-Platonic dialogues to my philosopher father) go something like this:

GRAND-Dad: That Captain Hook isn't such a bad guy!
Lorelei: No, he is, Grand-Dad.  He always tries to steal stuff and do bad things.
GRAND-Dad: So what?  Why can't I do bad things?
Lorelei: (thinking) Because you're supposed to make good choices!  And he makes bad ones.
GRAND-Dad: I like him.  And look at his cool hat, too.

One of his favorite villains is the big, bad wolf.  I remember him clearly telling me many times that the big, bad wolf "got a bad rap."  Yeah, all that huffing and puffing stuff was totally misunderstood, Dad...  But my Dad would be a fan of this book by the fantastic Judy Sierra. The big, bad wolf finally gets the spotlight!  "It's about time," my Dad would say.

"No one is falling for your story," cracked Humpty Dumpty.
In this quirky story, B.B. Wolf, who lives with all the other bad guys of childhood in Villain Villa, is invited to the library to tell the story of how he met the three little pigs.  He is no longer young and mean; he is a bespectacled and respectable old wolf.

Off he trots, and starts to tell the tale a little...differently.  He makes himself a huge hero, explaining that those huffs and puffs were, um, really sneezes and soft blows on a dandelion puff.  The houses just happened to be on the receiving end of those accidental air pockets.

In the audience sit the three little pigs, and they adamantly argue with ole B.B. Wolf.  "Tell the truth!" they call out.  After a few more feeble attempts at a good fib, B.B. Wolf can't take it anymore and begs their forgiveness.

"Well," said the first little pig, "I guess we could forgive you."
"It did happen a long time ago," said the second little pig.
"But your middle name is still Bad," added the third little pig.

But the sage wolf isn't content with the acceptance of his apology.  He goes home and tries to make it right.  He builds the three pigs a new home--a piggyback mansion.

I like this story because it reminds me of my funny dad, but also because B.B. Wolf "makes it right," which is something I try to instill in my little ones.  If Ben happens to shove Lorelei into a coffee table and she erupts into tears, he needs to apologize and "make it right" with a hug or offer to get her something to make her feel better.  I need to make sure they do this, because I'm not going to be able to see all their infractions, within my trio and beyond.  They need to have the empathy to know when they've hurt someone and to at least attempt to make it right.  I hope this skill lasts through adulthood...

But I really appreciate this book, it's a funny way to reinforce a lesson in our home.  Hope you like it, too!

1 comment:

  1. I love it! And, this is one of those books that most people wouldn't thanks for the rec. Also, is it super nerdy to think about reading the three little pigs, asking your child what the BBW could do and then reading this book to share another (or maybe similar idea)? Hmmmm...