13 December 2013

Review of The Three Little Pigs Get an Extreme Home Makeover & other Modern Mash-ups by Caprice Hokstad

The Three Little Pigs Get an Extreme Home Makeover & other Modern Mash-upsThe Three Little Pigs Get an Extreme Home Makeover & other Modern Mash-ups by Caprice Hokstad

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Disclosure: I was given a free review copy of this book as the author is a friend of mine.

This book is actually a collection of short stories—modernized rewrites of classic fairy tales. They include “The Three Little Pigs Get an Extreme Home Makeover”(The Three Little Pigs), “The Plaid Pipers of Hamelin Elementary”(The Pied Piper), “The Flaxen-Haired Freeloader”(Goldilocks), “Don’t Eat the House!”(Hansel and Gretel), “Jack and the Genetically Modified Beanstalk”(Jack and the Beanstalk), and “Always a Bad Hair Day”(Rapunzel).

The little pigs on reality tv is clever and funny, and I really liked the “wee wee wee, all the way home” nod to the other famous little piggies. Also, the ending was very cute. This story was very well-done.

The lecture from the writer to the reader at the beginning of the Goldilocks story bored and annoyed me. I understand that it is aimed at children, but the best children’s books are also enjoyed by adults (eg: The Hobbit, Alice in Wonderland, etc). However the “bear-germs” made me smile. I did have to wonder why Mama Bear and Papa Bear sleep in separate beds, and I’m sure there are some precocious children who would ask that question. And then, the teaser at the end for the next story annoyed me.

“Don’t Eat the House!” was a decent retelling of Hansel and Gretel with some important lessons for children. However, the witch being blind surprised me as it wasn’t mentioned before it was suddenly a major plot point.

Jack made me laugh. It was a very good retelling of the story, even though the giant was left out. The plot here had no need for silliness like giants and magic. Really. It didn’t.

The narrative commentary on Gothel’s stupidity in dealing with Rapunzel, and on Rapunzel’s annoyance with her hair is very clever. It made me smile several times. I used to have long, curly hair, and I completely agree that long hair is annoying. I can only imagine the difficulties Rapunzel would have with hair long enough to be a ladder.

The last story about the Pipers was way too short. Nothing really happened. I was left feeling cheated.

Over all, this was a good and clever retelling of the classic tales. I kind of wanted more, but I usually do.

View all my reviews


  1. Thank you for posting this, Esther. I appreciate hearing what you liked as well as what parts annoyed you. For the record (just so your readers know), I only "knew" you by an internet pseudonym before I gave you the book. We have never met in person. :)

  2. Hi Esther, I was revisiting my post about the passing of my kitties last year and read your lovely comment once again. Thank you so much for your kind words. I just wanted you to know even a year later, it means a lot.

    This book sounds fun and I will look into it.