________________ CM . . . . Volume XXII Number 14. . . .December 4, 2015


The Pied Piper and the Wrong Song. (Tadpoles: Fairytale Twists).

Laura North. Illustrated by Scoular Anderson.
St. Catharines, ON: Crabtree, 2015.
32 pp., pbk., hc., pdf & html, $8.95 (pbk.), $20.76 (RLB).
ISBN 978-0-7787-1960-1 (pbk.), ISBN 978-0-7787-1933-2 (RLB), ISBN 978-1-4271-7698-1 (pdf), ISBN 978-1-4271-7690-5 (html).

Kindergarten-grade 2 / Ages 5-7.

Review by John Dryden.

*** /4


But one by one, all the cows in the town started to follow the Pied Piper’s magic song.

“Oh no!” said the mayor.

“What are you doing?”


internal artSome might think that the mayor is overreacting a little bit here as he did just promise the Pied Piper TEN bags of gold to rid the town of pests! It’s just that it’s supposed to be RATS that he is getting rid of, not cows! The Pied Piper continues to make blunder after blunder. First it was the cows, and then the pigs fall victim to his music. The townspeople are livid with the Pied Piper as he is taking their hard-earned tax dollars while not getting the rats to follow him! The story culminates when all the farmers head for the hills behind the Pied Piper and leave the gates open. Havoc ensues as animals storm the village and houses. A cow gets into bed beside the mayor who becomes visibly upset (as one might)! Enter our story’s hero, Peter. This wise young entrepreneur hands out some very smart looking ear muffs to all the people and farm animals. The next time the clearly unlicensed piper played a tune, not a soul heard a thing. Mind you, the rats remained as well. Then under a hail of MORE bags of gold thrown by the townspeople, the people paid the piper to go away!

     This book from “Tadpoles: Fairytale Twists” series was read to me by my eight-year-old. My initial reaction was one of surprise as the story has such an unexpected ending. Why would the villagers pay the piper to go away and leave the population with rats everywhere? Then I decided to not care so much about this little plot hole and enjoy the story. This was great little tale! The challenge faced by authors in this series is to try to encapsulate a fairy tale type story in a couple hundred words. Laura North does a good job in creating a quick ‘fairy tale twist!’

     The illustrations deliver the plot to the reader very well. Scoular Anderson lays down a great series of illustrations to portray the setting and personify the animals.

     The Pied Piper and the Wrong Song was a fun tale to hear and to read aloud to the kids. Be prepared for some head shaking as the kids realize that this Pied Piper is unemployable.


John Dryden reviews from BC’s Cowichan Valley and dislikes rats and hapless pipers.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

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