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Counting Piggies by Jim Gardner

Counting Piggies

By Jim Gardner

Pub Date: Feb. 20th, 2012
ISBN: 978-1449738099
Publisher: Westbow Press

A new twist on an old tale.

Everyone knows the story of the little piggies who went to the market, that toe-counting and -tickling game parents and grandparents have played with children for generations. Here, instead of going to the market, the little piggies are driving luxury automobiles. The first little piggy is given a Rolls-Royce, while the second is given a “Jag.” The third piggy has something called a deuce coupé, and the fourth piggy, who appears to be standing on a pair of wheels, has “some mags.” The fifth, and only female piggy, sporting bows around her ears and prominent eyelashes, drives off in a “1949 Shoebox Coupe,” which goes “Va Boom.” Debut children’s book author Gardner addresses his adult reader at the front of the book, apologizing for any inaccuracies regarding the automobiles and encouraging the reader to make any changes he or she deems proper. The introduction lets the reader know that this is going to be a Beach Boys homage disguised as a children’s book, but it also may immediately turn off anyone who doesn’t have working knowledge of classic cars. The illustrations of the luxury machines are elaborate and quite beautiful. They contrast in a rather interesting way with the piggies themselves, who are more simply depicted. But if the reader hasn’t the slightest idea what a “mag” is or why “fullrace flattie and lakes’ pipes” are supposed to be something special, the entire retelling will be lost on him or her. But fans of the automobile won’t mind reading this picture book to their children. As for whether or not those children will like it, that would most likely depend wholly on the enthusiasm of the reader—the book is incredibly short and has little plot. The listening audience is thus likely to be infants and perhaps toddlers. For this reason, the book would have been better presented as a board book instead of a picture book.

An automotive-inspired reboot of a classic game.