The fourth in the early-reading Pig in a Wig series.
This time the pig in a wig finds herself conducting an orchestra. Humor is the order of the day as the various animals—raccoon, dog, bird, cow, cat—assemble to play the instruments. At first, the pig is alone on the bandstand, but her musical friends soon join in on a wide assortment of instruments: banjo, bells, bass, trombone, bugle, kazoo, and drum. When a little, tuba-playing mouse joins in with a squeak, the whole band goes crazy! It’s not clear why all the animals are unnerved by the mouse, but they certainly are. Feeling more like a choppy phonics textbook than a story, the book doesn’t give readers enough to make it worth the work to read. While each traditional sound word (“buzz,” “jingle”) could be decoded by beginning readers, Virján includes so many nonsense words (including “tootle,” “brup,” “tish,” and “bwap”) in her text—often they are the only words on a page—that young readers may lose interest along the way. Parents and teachers who will be called upon to help young readers sound out the “words” will quickly tire of the chore. Followers of the series will enjoy another go-around with this familiar character, but the plot does not hold up to its predecessors.
Muted giggles but no standing ovation for this orchestra. (Early reader. 3-6)