Peddles is a pig who dreams of dancing.
He imagines a number of other activities first: flying, leapfrogging, being an astronaut. One night, he follows the “whooping and hollering” he hears to a hoedown in the barn, where he is transfixed by the footwear. After clomping around in soup cans, flowerpots, and (ridiculously) beehives, he comes across the object of his affection: bright red cowboy boots. The problem is, he can’t balance on two feet. Luckily, his fellow swine come to the rescue, raising the fallen protagonist with a group nudge. Stanton’s picture-book debut, Henny (2014), concerned the musings of a chicken born with human arms. This author seems to be working her way through farm animals and messages. The first title champions accepting differences; this one continues that theme as it heralds lending support to friends. Children will be amused at the scatological scenes and some of the caricatures. The watercolor-and-pencil compositions, however, are somewhat repetitious; it is not always possible to tell which pig is Peddles, and his cohorts do not have any distinguishing characteristics or behaviors. The muted palette against the abundant white backgrounds and the action are so subdued (until the boots appear) that children may lose interest.
Neither plot nor visuals inspire a second read. (Picture book. 3-5)