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PIG-BOY by Gerald McDermott


A Trickster Tale from Hawai‘i

by Gerald McDermott, illustrated by Gerald McDermott

Age Range: 3 - 5

Pub Date: April 1st, 2009
ISBN: 978-0-15-216590-1
Publisher: Harcourt

Joining McDermott’s other trickster tales meant for keiki (“very young children” in the Hawaiian language) is the tale of the shape-shifting pig whose annoying and greedy habits land him in endless trouble with both the king and the goddess Pele. Pig-Boy practices mais fica (“more for me” in Pacific Island pidgin) with first his tolerant Grandmother’s taro patch and then with the significantly less tolerant king’s chickens. The “hairy little hog” grows and grows and is saved time after time thanks to his loving Grandmother’s advice: “if trouble comes...just slip away.” He splits into 100 little piglets, transforms himself into the pig-nosed fish native to Hawaiian waters, grows into terrifying hugeness. The boldly colored art is dynamic and reflects both the humor of the sprightly text and the author/illustrator’s background as an animator in its visual pacing. The tale itself has just enough folkloric elements to convey action, character and setting without bogging down in detail. An author’s note supplies bibliographic and historical information. Good rascally fun. (Picture book/folktale. 3-5)