RUTHANN AND HER PIG by Barbara Ann Porte
Kirkus Star


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A charmingly original story that turns out, midway, to be not only about an unusual pet but about the unusual family that harbors him. Henry Brown himself, though he is a housebroken pig and very long-legged, is not especially remarkable, but he serves well as a pivot for the action around him. Since he's a relatively hairless pig, Cousin Frank is not allergic to him; when Frank goes home, he invites Henry Brown to visit, imagining (in a one-sided correspondence to Ruthann) that the pig will solve his problems with school-bus bullies. And so he does, in the end--but not without the intervention of long-lost Grandda, who turns up in a hilarious manner that also deftly reveals some astonishingly genuine, foible-filled human relationships. Porte's wry picture of the Packer family derives humor from her sharp eye and impeccable logic, and it draws immediacy from well-chosen, homely details, and from her use of the present tense; like her other stories, this one holds more wisdom than might be suspected from the simplicity of its text. Where has Grandda been all these years? Porte hints at an answer, but sensibly leaves the question open. Inviting format enlivened by Stevenson's many, full-color, cartoon-like illustrations.

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 1989
Page count: 96pp
Publisher: Orchard/Watts