When other animals fail to take a stand, a lying warthog becomes their king with devastating results.
“A runt who wanted / to be a huge pig,” the warthog “started off small,” telling tall tales and lying “to feel big.” Claiming night is day and rain is dry, the warthog brags how high he can fly, how great and handsome he is. Many find his behavior shameful but do nothing to stop him. As “his fibbing got bolder,” the bullying warthog climbs “up on the backs of his lies” to become king, lying to fill his wallet, questioning “all that was right,” and turning subjects against one another. But when “all that was false was spoken as true,” his lies eventually ensnare him. Beard spins his relevant cautionary tale in droll verse that builds in intensity as the warthog’s dishonesty expands. Signature ink-and-watercolor illustrations feature the warthog and his exotic subjects, drawn in neat, black outlines and filled with pale washes. The plain white background calls attention to the hand-lettered text and drama of the narcissistic warthog, who wears an officious sneer and absurd crown, strutting, posing, leaping, denouncing, and accusing his way across pages as stunned animals collapse beneath his lies.
This witty, contemporary fable brilliantly champions truth in an era of fake news, alternative facts, and rampant lies. (Picture book. 4-8)