LITTLE PIG IS CAPABLE

Little Pig’s parents are fusspots. They can’t protect their little pig enough from the big bad world. It might be sunny and warm, but they swathe him in a scarf. The bathtub is an accident waiting to happen. They see in pasta a potential menace: “Sugar-dumpling,” they warble to Little Pig, “If you’re eating spaghetti please be careful. If you eat quickly you’ll get spaghetti all over yourself! You won’t be able to digest properly, and you could even choke!” So when they send Little Pig off with his Snout Troop for a hike, he is outfitted as if on an expedition to the far Hindu Kush: nose bathed in zinc oxide, glacier glasses, leggings, water wings just in case. But their worrywart radar isn’t working when they fail to notice the substitute troop leader, Ravenous, has a rack of sharp teeth in his mouth. The hike is a fiasco—Ravenous doesn’t care if the snouts eat all their food in the first five minutes (Little Pig, of course, has a whole sackful of sandwiches), or swim in the most dangerous part of the river, or get sunburned or stung by mosquitoes. It falls to Little Pig to figure out that Ravenous is a wolf in swinish hiking shorts and save the pack’s bacon. Yes, Little Pig is not only prepared, he is capable of utilizing that preparedness. Roche’s (It’s My City, 2001, etc.) bright, gawky, and very funny art makes having anxious parents seem like fun. Goofy stills of straight-armed, skinny-legged Little Pig suffering his parents’ silliness give his steady hand real appeal, rather than turning him into a party pooper. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: March 25, 2002

ISBN: 0-395-91368-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2002

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An invitation to wonder, imagine and look at everything (humans included) in a new way.

NOAH CHASES THE WIND

A young boy sees things a little differently than others.

Noah can see patterns in the dust when it sparkles in the sunlight. And if he puts his nose to the ground, he can smell the “green tang of the ants in the grass.” His most favorite thing of all, however, is to read. Noah has endless curiosity about how and why things work. Books open the door to those answers. But there is one question the books do not explain. When the wind comes whistling by, where does it go? Noah decides to find out. In a chase that has a slight element of danger—wind, after all, is unpredictable—Noah runs down streets, across bridges, near a highway, until the wind lifts him off his feet. Cowman’s gusty wisps show each stream of air turning a different jewel tone, swirling all around. The ribbons gently bring Noah home, setting him down under the same thinking tree where he began. Did it really happen? Worthington’s sensitive exploration leaves readers with their own set of questions and perhaps gratitude for all types of perspective. An author’s note mentions children on the autism spectrum but widens to include all who feel a little different.

An invitation to wonder, imagine and look at everything (humans included) in a new way. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: April 14, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-60554-356-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Redleaf Lane

Review Posted Online: Feb. 3, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2015

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TO MARKET, TO MARKET

A marketing trip from Miranda (Glad Monster, Sad Monster, p. 1309) that jiggity jigs off in time-honored nursery-rhyme fashion, but almost immediately derails into well-charted chaos. The foodstuffs—the fat pig, the red hen, the plump goose, the pea pods, peppers, garlic, and spice—are wholly reasonable in light of the author's mention of shopping at traditional Spanish mercados, which stock live animals and vegetables. Stevens transfers the action to a standard American supermarket and a standard American kitchen, bringing hilarity to scenes that combine acrylics, oil pastels, and colored pencil with photo and fabric collage elements. The result is increasing frazzlement for the shopper, an older woman wearing spectacles, hat, and purple pumps (one of which is consumed by her groceries). It's back to market one last time for ingredients for the hot vegetable soup she prepares for the whole bunch. True, her kitchen's trashed and she probably won't find a welcome mat at her supermarket hereafter, but all's well that ends well—at least while the soup's on. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 1997

ISBN: 0-15-200035-6

Page Count: 36

Publisher: Harcourt

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 1997

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