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PIGGYBOOK by Anthony Brown Kirkus Star



Pub Date: Sept. 19th, 1986
Publisher: Knopf

At first glance, a routine cautionary tale about Mrs. Piggott, who, weary of doing all the housework for her two sons and husband in addition to her other job, leaves home till they're ready to reform. But since Brown's imagination is never routine, Piggybook offers delightful surprises, both visual and verbal. All three males order Mom about as they hurry off to their ""very important"" job and schools. Mouths greedily open, they well deserve Mom's succinct farewell missive: ""You are pigs."" Whereupon the three become pink pigs, and in trying to care for themselves create the sort of mess expected in a sty. Moreover, everything around them--doorknob, dock, teapot, even the family dog and the moon and trees seen through the window--is transformed by the pig motif which has been unobtrusively introduced from the first page, slyly hidden, for example, as Dad's shadow. Mom comes back looking serene and sweet. Thereafter, every. one shares tasks; they even look happier. Spare use of carefully selected detail, crisply rendered, and witty characterization of the miscreants and their unwilling drudge, make this another on Brown's growing list of picture books that comment on the human condition with perception and originality.