Arnold, J., & Koslowski, R. (ill.) (2010). BB Wolf and the Three LPs. Atlanta, GA: Top Shelf Productions. ISBN: 978-1-60309-029-2
Annotation: This retelling of the Big Bad Wolf and the Three Little Pigs examines racial tensions in Mississippi in 1920. In a twist on the traditional tale, BB Wolf is the hardworking hero who sets off to seek revenge after the Little Pig brothers murder his family.
Reaction: I love the way Arnold turns the traditional Big Bad Wolf into a sympathetic character who is just trying to make a living for his family and struggling against the pigs who believe wolves are inferior and don’t deserve equality or fair treatment. The black and white art evokes the feeling of desperation and hopelessness felt by BB throughout the book, and the black page borders only highlight the dark themes. Arnold and Koslowski do not shy away from depicting violence, and they show BB savagely dispatching with the pigs he comes across. Because of these graphic illustrations, I would only recommend this book for older teens in high school, possibly as a supplement to units about civil rights and US history during that time period to encourage student discussions about the struggles of African Americans in the 20’s. As Gail said at noflyingnotights.com, this book features “American history, blues music, issues of racism and corruption, and darn good storytelling” (de Vos, 2011).
This book uses allusion to reference the struggles African Americans had in the US, especially in southern states like Mississippi, in the beginning of the 20th century. The wolves live in fear of the pigs because the pigs hold all the money and power, in the same way African Americans were forced into subservience to the white population. The wolves are punished if they are disrespectful, and the pigs seem to take pleasure in withholding basic rights from the wolves.
Also, by giving voice and human mannerisms to the wolves and pigs, this book depicts personification.
Media Used: The art was all done with brush and India ink on 11″x14″ Bristol board. To achieve different shades of grays I simply used watered down ink. The lettering was done digitally.
No Author Website
References: de Vos, G. (2011 19-December). BB Wolf and the Three LPs. From No Flying No Tights: http://noflyingnotights.com/?p=8375