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PIG PIG RETURNS by David McPhail


by David McPhail & illustrated by David McPhail

Age Range: 3 - 7

Pub Date: July 1st, 2011
ISBN: 978-1-58089-356-5
Publisher: Charlesbridge

The clever title reveals two meanings: First, that a classic character stars in a new book for the first time in decades; second, that this story is likely to end in a satisfying return home.

Pig Pig, a favorite from Pig Pig Grows Up (1980), Pig Pig Rides (1982), etc., is about to take a cross-country trip with his aunt and uncle, but without his mother (and cat, Fluffy). The young porker experiences worries common to young children: separation anxiety and fear of the unfamiliar. At first, Pig Pig "was concerned that his mother and Fluffy would miss him too much." As they get under way, it's true that things don't always go as planned; for example, the view from the top of a mountain is completely fogged in. But Pig Pig soon forgets his fears; his adventures include visiting a house made of soda cans, a boulder in the shape of an elephant and more. He's having so much fun that there's nothing to be anxious about—except returning home. As in previous Pig Pig stories, McPhail accurately and humanely addresses a universal concern. The pale watercolor illustrations outlined in scratchy, thin black line suit the gentle, reassuring story.

Many kids, like Pig Pig, thrive on routine; reading this over and over is likely to become part of many young readers' routines. (Picture book. 3-7)