One of Mama Pig’s piglets is not like the others.
“There was a different sort of piglet in the pigpen one spring morning.” Mama Pig doesn’t mind; she loves all her children equally, even this brown, furry little girl. The others are “bigger and stronger,” so Penny peacefully waits for her turn. “The piglets grew bigger every day. And Penny grew… / l o n g e r.” Her siblings remark on her peculiar looks and sounds and digging methodologies. Each time her siblings point out her peculiarities, Mama Pig assures Penny, “I love all my little piglets the same.” And when something scary, hissy, and scaly enters the farm yard, Penny jumps in with a bark and a growl to chase it off. All her brothers and sisters agree “that peculiar [is] perfect.” Steuerwald’s debut as both author and illustrator is an excellent, gently told addition to anti-bullying, adoption, and individuality storytimes. The adorable piglets (and dachshund pup) in the hand-drawn and digitally painted illustrations are expressive and distinct, with a look that strikes the right balance between cartoon and realism. The bullying never rises beyond giggles at Penny’s differences, making this a good conversation starter even for the youngest audiences.
Look forward to more from Steuerwald; Penny the puppy piglet is perfection. (Picture book. 2-7)