Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The TTLG 2011 Picture Book Celebration - Book Nineteen

Many years ago, when my husband and I lived on a farm in Virginia, we got a pot-bellied piglet. Gracie was an incredibly sweet little animal. She was very affectionate, funny, and intelligent. She was also incredibly stubborn. If Gracie did not want to do something, there was very little that you could do to force her to do so. She would scream - which was deafening - and she would kick her little hooves. Having had this first-hand pig experience, I was eager to read the book I have reviewed today, and I am so glad that I did. 

Michael Ian Black
Illustrated by Kevin Hawkes
Picture Book
Ages 5 to 9
Simon and Schuster, 2010, 978-1-4169-7922-7
   Most of us love parades. We love the music, the floats, the bands, and the giant balloons that float above the street. What’s not to love? Now, imagine a different sort of parade, imagine what it might be like to attend a parade whose participants are all pigs. Can you see those porcine wonders marching down the street tootling their horns and oompa pa-ing their sousaphones? Can you see them in their red and white majorette uniforms with bright brass buttons on their coats and white plumes on their hats?
   Perhaps you can imagine all these wonders, but let me tell you that a pig parade “is a terrible idea.” Pigs hate to march, being partial to snuffling instead. They walk around with their noses to the ground looking for tidbits to eat. This might be a fine thing to do in a farmyard, but “snuffling is simply an inappropriate way to conduct yourself along a parade route.”
   If you think pigs will fancy those majorette uniforms you had better think again. Pigs hate uniforms, and trying to get them to wear them will be neigh on impossible, and this is just the beginning; there is a veritable litany of reasons why a pig parade is a terrible idea.
   Readers will be hard pressed not to laugh out loud when they read this book and look at the artwork. Michael Ian Black’s deliciously funny words are perfectly paired with Kevin Hawkes’ illustrations to give readers a picture book experience that is truly one of a kind. 

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