Just what is “normal”?
“Pip was a normal pig who did normal stuff.” Readers will note that she has spots and her all-pink classmates don’t and that one of her parents is gray and the other is pink. She thinks she’s as normal as they come until a new classmate tells her that her lunch “stinks.” Pip’s suddenly aware that she’s not the same as others in her class. Then another pig asks if her mother, who is gray, is her “babysitter.” When she demands a “normal lunch,” her mother suggests a trip into the city. At the museum, Pip hears a bunch of different languages, and at the playground, every pig looks different. When Pip remarks on the “weird” food at a food truck, a striped pig says, “Maybe it’s weird for you, but not for me. I like it.” Bolstered, when her new classmate again jeers at her “weird lunch” back at school, Pip defiantly repeats what she heard in the city, then offers everyone a taste…and her classmates like it. Pip feels “pretty normal” after that. Debut author/illustrator Steele communicates her message that “normal” is in the eye of the beholder without a whiff of preachiness. Her cartoon pigs, done in watercolor with assured, black outlines, are appealing, and any child who feels they stand out in any way will identify and feel empowered.
Delightful and important. (Picture book. 2-8)