THE DANCING PIG by Judy Sierra


Age Range: 4 - 8
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Sierra’s retelling of this Balinese folktale has a kind of mesmerizing uninflected delivery that chugs attractively along, while Sweetwater’s artwork flickers with vivid folk imagery draped in tropical colors. Klodan and Klonching care so much for the family pig that they dance the classic Legong to keep it entertained. Also benefiting from the liquid movements and kindnesses of the girls are the house mouse and the band of frogs who provide the beat for the dance. An ogress, the Rangsasa, jealously watches the proceedings from the woods until one day when the girls’ mother must go to the market to scare up some cash for the family needs. The Rangsasa tricks the girls into opening the door—which their mother had expressly forbidden—and steals them off to her cottage to eat them. The animals intervene in a crafty maneuver that involves the pig’s entrancing interpretation of the Legong. The girls are freed and they make off with a boodle of the ogress’s wealth’she won’t need it, having been engulfed in the flames of her cottage—as is just. If a bit tidy and pat, this is a culturally transporting tale from a realm that most readers will find quite exotic. (glossary) (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 1999
ISBN: 0-15-201594-9
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Harcourt
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15th, 1999