The Three Ninja PigsDan Santat has been mesmerizing me and my children for the last several years. We first came across his illustrations in Nanny Piggins, but then I feel like I started seeing his stuff everywhere (and not just because he’s mastered the social networking landscape). “Oh, look, Michael Buckley (author of The Sisters Grimm series) wrote a picture book called Kel Gilligan’s Daredevil Stunt Show – let’s check it out. Boy this illustration style looks familiar….” And then, “Oooh, Andrea Beaty (who wrote Iggy Peck Architect) wrote a novel (Attack of the Fluffy Bunnies).” And then daughter #17 got into graphic novels – “this one looks like it’s got pretty cool art … wait a minute (see Santat’s graphic novel Sidekicks)” At first, I thought that Dan Santat was haunting us. Then I just realized he was haunting the entire world of children’s illustration. In addition to collaborations with R.A. Spratt, Michael Buckley and Andrea Beaty, he’s been lucky enough to work with the likes of Dan Gutman, Tammi Sauer, Ahmet Zappa, Rhea Perlman (yes, that Rhea Perlman), and many others.

The Three Ninja Pigs
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This week, I’d like to highlight a recent favorite we added to our collection: The Three Ninja Pigs by Corey Rosen Schwartz and illustrated by the omnipresent Santat. Written in limerick, Schwartz does an impressively splendrous job rhyming in perfect rhythm. This retelling of the three little pigs and the big bad wolf using a backdrop of martial arts is very well rendered, but also informative about the martial arts themselves. And of course, Santat’s illustrations kick pig-tail.

Any rhythmically accurate and well-rhymed picture book is a huge win – and this one is worth it’s weight in gi.

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Borrow. Read. Return. Repeat.