A proactive piglet seeks a new home and sense of belonging.
Jasper, “a gen-u-wine Business Pig,” feels out of place at the Sunshine Sanctuary for Farm Animals. Unlike his siblings, he hates playing in mud puddles and rooting about for food. The other animals don’t appreciate his flair for flow charts. Although the farm volunteers try to support Jasper, he longs for adoption. Not a pig “to let life get him down for long,” Jasper puts himself out there to find the perfect home. In this playful story about staying true to oneself, surprising and expressive illustrations wittily expand on the narration. The contrast between suit-and-tie–wearing Jasper and the other farm animals captures the lighthearted tone of the story. While his siblings walk on four legs and dig with their snouts, Jasper stands upright and uses a shovel. A white girl adopts Jasper at the end, but the volunteer who names him has dark brown skin and Afro-textured hair. Zuill’s use of varied perspectives and layouts creates movement and adds liveliness to the pacing of the text. Speech bubbles within the illustrations inject character voice into the story without interrupting the rhythm. With the easy flow of the narration and the light sense of humor, this picture book is well-suited for storytime.
Jasper the Business Pig makes the sale with silliness and charm. (Picture book. 4-7)