This charmer of an early reader presents an ironic twist on the tried-and-true picky-eater character by casting him as a pig.
Mom has prepared a treat for her four piglets: green slop. Dot, Rose and Gus dig in and head outside to play, but as the title heralds, “Pete won’t eat.” A battle of wills ensues between Mom and Pete as she insists that he try the slop, but he refuses. “You will stay until you eat,” Mom declares, but then the facing page shows her ambivalence about the hard line she’s holding as she sits at her home computer and says forlornly, “I hope he tries it.” Alas, Pete is one stubborn little pig, and spot illustrations show him determinedly refusing to eat even as his siblings and friends implore him to do so and come out to play. Meanwhile, Mom second guesses herself to the point of tears. “I am a mean mom!” she exclaims in a bit of text that is both humorous and wonderfully humanizing for the maternal sow. When she offers to make Pete a sandwich, he caves and eats up his slop with gusto, proving that the standoff was about power more than it was the slop itself. Throughout, McCully’s watercolors are comically expressive and engaging.
New readers will eat this up. (Early reader. 5-7)