BERYL by Jane Simmons

BERYL

A Pig’s Tale
by , illustrated by
Age Range: 8 - 11

KIRKUS REVIEW

A brisk tale with black-and-white illustrations sprinkled throughout, this features talking animals, unlikely coincidences, a breathless narrative style and a message about the value of diversity. When Beryl, an orphaned pig, is mistakenly marked for slaughter, she takes advantage of an unexpected opportunity to escape. Although raised to fear other animals, Beryl soon falls in with a friendly wild pig named Amber and her loving aunt and uncle. Prejudice against “pork” pigs, however, forces them to leave their comfortable colony and search for a new home. Revelations about Amber’s parentage, help from a wise and philosophical bear, a dangerous trek through human territory and a tragic accident follow. Simmons keeps the plot moving and includes some amusing details, such as the antics of the “Sisterhood of the Mystic Boar,” pigs who foretell the future and consider Beryl the “Chosen One.” Overall, however, this is too grim to be a great read-aloud for her usual audience and too lacking in nuance to captivate older fantasy fans, so it’s likely to have difficulty winning a wide readership. (Animal fantasy. 8-11)

Pub Date: March 1st, 2010
ISBN: 978-0-316-04410-3
Page count: 224pp
Publisher: Little, Brown
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1st, 2010




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