Where's the Big Bad Wolf?

Publisher - Clarion Books, Ages 4-9

“This is good clownish fun, and the rough-and-tumble art keeps the farce bubbling.”
—Kirkus Reviews

 

—Gold Best Book Award—Oppenheim Toy Portfolio
—One of Smithsonian’s ‘Notable Books for Children—2002

The Story:

Whenever there's trouble on Detective Doggedly's beat, that low-down, no-good, chicken chasing, pig-poaching Big Bad Wolf is always the prime suspect. But when the three little pigs' house is huffed and puffed into a pile of straw and only a sheep named Esmeralda is found at the scene of the crime, Doggedly has a new mystery to solve: Where's the Big Bad Wolf?

   With the help of some wise, elderly cows, Doggedly sniffs out the clues. But can he catch the culprit before the three little pigs are gobbled up?

   This is a new wrinkle on a classic tale!

Where did you get the IDEA?

It's amazing what inspiration you can find in the newspaper! This was a front-page story! The Big Bad Wolf was on trial in our local courthouse for destroying the home of the three little pigs! Local students took part as lawyers, jurors, the wolf and the pigs.

   Of course, I decided to turn that news item into a picture book!  But as I wrote, I realized that the story of a trial is all talk and no action. Picture books need action! So, I found myself writing a mystery.

The Writing:

My first draft of this story was 4,000 words—way too long! I cut out almost 3,000 words and several characters. The big Bad Wolf's mother,  the mother of the 3 little pigs and a chicken all had to go.

The Illustrations:

The line is drawn with a Hunt's 'school house' pen point dipped into black Calli ink. I photocopied the line onto Whatman 90 lb cold press watercolor paper. I painted the illustrations with Holbein acrylic gouache.