PIGGY’S PANCAKE PARLOR by David McPhail

PIGGY’S PANCAKE PARLOR

by & illustrated by
Age Range: 4 - 8
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KIRKUS REVIEW

Even when McPhail (The Teddy Bear, p. 496, etc.) is somewhat predictable, he can’t seem to help but turn out a winning story; his never-failing artwork doesn’t hurt either, with its fine lines, robust color, and deep narrative content. Here, in a story in chapters, he’s back with one of his favorite creatures, the pig—Piggy, in this case. Piggy was the runt of the litter, but tendered into youth by the kind Mr. and Mrs. Farmer Todd. Among the gifts they bestow upon Piggy is the secret to Mrs. Farmer Todd’s delicious pancakes. When a young and starving fox by the name of Fox (“The name certainly suits you,” notes Mrs. Farmer Todd) is caught in the hen house, Piggy invites him in to have some pancakes. Soon, Piggy and Fox decide to open a pancake parlor in their little burg. It becomes a great hit and gives Piggy a chance to display his remarkable patience, tolerance, and loyalty: he works more like a beaver than a porker; he handles unruly customers with kindness; and he doesn’t reveal the secret ingredient to the pancakes, even when offered a substantial cash bribe. Finally the day comes when he confides the secret ingredient to Fox—with Mrs. Farmer Brown’s approval. You guessed it: love is the answer. But that isn’t what propels this story forward, except as an aspect of Piggy’s general deportment; the secret ingredient is McPhail’s terrific way with words—“But Piggy and Fox were young and strong, and the hard work agreed with them”—and his ability to craft affecting, soulful characters. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: June 1st, 2001
ISBN: 0-525-45930-8
Page count: 48pp
Publisher: Dutton
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15th, 2002




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