HARVEY, THE FOOLISH PIG by Dick Gackenbach


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An original fable for our times: indolent Harvey sets out to ask the King how to get rich, encountering on his way a hungry wolf, a lonely, rich pig named Louella, and a tree with withered leaves; each asks him to bring them back the King's advice. The King gives Harvey ""the Gift of Good Luck"" plus some wise words for the others that Harvey duly delivers: the tree should get someone to take away the gold buried beneath it (Harvey is too intent on finding his luck to help); Louella should find someone to share her life (Harvey can't stop to marry her--he's too busy looking for his riches); the wolf should eat a foolish pig who hasn't the wit to know good luck when he sees it--and he does. In the traditional tale of the ""The Three Little Pigs,"" the two improvident pigs get eaten--but the third, through hard work and good sense, eats the wolf. Here, Harvey deserves what he gets, but there's no suggestion in the story that good fortune might have resulted from either effort or merit. Although Gackenbach's telling is sprightly and his illustrations comically lively and well designed, this is one-dimensional; kids will giggle at Harvey's silliness, but they may be startled by his sudden end.

Pub Date: April 4th, 1988
Publisher: Clarion/Houghton Mifflin