Those who have enjoyed Pig’s other adventures in badness will likely love this one, and the obviously frequent mentions of...

PIG THE STINKER

From the Pig the Pug series

Pig loves things that stink…including himself.

“Pig liked to get dirty. / He frankly was RANK. / His paws could be frightful. / His fur often stank.” Pig rolls in garbage and spoiled milk; he even plays with poo! He’s not offended by smells—not even by his wiener-dog buddy’s butt! Calls for bathtime make him run, and he’s very good at escaping, evading, and hiding. He sneaks away and jams a rubber-bone toy up the bathtub spigot. Then, being the nasty scamp that he is, he boogies with glee right in the tub, taunting his owner—until the plumbing explodes, bonking him in the nose with the faucet. From then on he doesn’t balk at bathtime…but that doesn’t change the fact that he often stinks to high heaven. Pig returns from his native Australia (where the book was titled Pig the Grub) to teach another lesson by setting a bad example. Blabey’s gleefully rancid creation scampers across the pages covered in (and liberally spreading) green and brown goo, and his pong is as visible as his owner’s face is not. With his bulging eyes and general nastiness, Pig is definitely an acquired taste; that this is his fifth outing is ample proof that many have done so.

Those who have enjoyed Pig’s other adventures in badness will likely love this one, and the obviously frequent mentions of things potty-related will recruit new fans. (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: April 30, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-338-33754-9

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Dec. 22, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2019

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A sweet reminder that it’s easy to weather a storm with the company and kindness of friends.

GOOD NIGHT, LITTLE BLUE TRUCK

Is it a stormy-night scare or a bedtime book? Both!

Little Blue Truck and his good friend Toad are heading home when a storm lets loose. Before long, their familiar, now very nervous barnyard friends (Goat, Hen, Goose, Cow, Duck, and Pig) squeeze into the garage. Blue explains that “clouds bump and tumble in the sky, / but here inside we’re warm and dry, / and all the thirsty plants below / will get a drink to help them grow!” The friends begin to relax. “Duck said, loud as he could quack it, / ‘THUNDER’S JUST A NOISY RACKET!’ ” In the quiet after the storm, the barnyard friends are sleepy, but the garage is not their home. “ ‘Beep!’ said Blue. ‘Just hop inside. / All aboard for the bedtime ride!’ ” Young readers will settle down for their own bedtimes as Blue and Toad drop each friend at home and bid them a good night before returning to the garage and their own beds. “Blue gave one small sleepy ‘Beep.’ / Then Little Blue Truck fell fast asleep.” Joseph’s rich nighttime-blue illustrations (done “in the style of [series co-creator] Jill McElmurry”) highlight the power of the storm and capture the still serenity that follows. Little Blue Truck has been chugging along since 2008, but there seems to be plenty of gas left in the tank.

A sweet reminder that it’s easy to weather a storm with the company and kindness of friends. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Oct. 22, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-328-85213-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: HMH Books

Review Posted Online: June 23, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2019

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Willems’ formula is still a winner.

THE PIGEON NEEDS A BATH!

From the Pigeon series

The pigeon is back, and he is filthy!

Readers haven’t seen the pigeon for a couple of years, not since The Duckling Gets a Cookie!? (2012), and apparently he hasn’t bathed in all that time. Per the usual routine, the bus driver (clad in shower cap and bathrobe) opens the story by asking readers to help convince the pigeon to take a bath. Though he’s covered in grime, the obstreperous bird predictably resists. He glares at readers and suggests that maybe they need baths. With the turn of the page, Willems anticipates readers’ energetic denials: The pigeon demands, “YEAH! When was the last time YOU had a bath?!” Another beat allows children to supply the answer. “Oh.” A trio of flies that find him repulsive (“P.U.!”) convinces him it’s time. One spread with 29 separate panels depicts the pigeon adjusting the bath (“Too wet!…Too cold.…Too reflective”) before the page turn reveals him jumping in with a spread-filling “SPLASH!” Readers accustomed to the pigeon formula will note that here the story breaks from its normal rhythms; instead of throwing a tantrum, the pigeon discovers what readers already know: “This is FUN!” All the elements are in place, including page backgrounds that modulate from dirty browns to fresh, clean colors and endpapers that bookend the story (including a very funny turnabout for the duckling, here a rubber bath toy).

Willems’ formula is still a winner. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: April 1, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-4231-9087-5

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Hyperion

Review Posted Online: March 17, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2014

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