The Books

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One Potato Review

Just when you think you’ve read every possible variation of The Three Little Pigs, along comes an only Somewhat Bad Wolf in Mark Teague’s knowing, nuanced and surprisingly nutritional fable for our times. Here it isn’t the pigs’ mother who sends them arbitrarily packing, but a family of farmers presumably squashed by Big Agro, who pay off the pigs for good work, and eagerly retire to Florida. That two of those pigs turn out to be slackers will surprise no one perhaps, but that their fecklessness should firstly consist of a weakness for potato chips and “sody-pop” feels teachable and laughable in just the right amounts. The most industrious among them meanwhile plants a vegetable garden to go with her red brick homestead, and the wolf only resorts to all of his huffing and puffing after first being turned away from a donut shop, a hot dog stand and a pizza parlor. “I was so hungry I could not think straight,” he avows after passing out on a manicured front lawn. Hey Wolf, we feel you, man.

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