OINK AND PEARL by Kay Chorao


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Three stagy episodes--and one more solidly grounded--in the off-and-on relations between piglet Pearl and her disparaged little brother Oink. (Supposedly, she wishes he were an older sister instead; but that's just an arbitrary ascription, and plays almost no part in the stories.) In ""Jump Rope,"" Pearl scorns Oink's ""silly doll"" Mouse to jump rope with older, snotty Nellie and Agnes; but when she takes a painful tumble in the process, she grudgingly accepts ""Mouse's favorite song""--and Mouse tucked in beside her--as a consolation. ""Fish"" takes the two out fishing, discordantly--until Oink almost catches a huge fish, Pearl catches him in-the-nick, and the two savor the excitement together. Harmony is also restored in ""Chocolate Cake,"" the story of a party that goes awry and then rights itself in a muddy frolic. And then there is ""Auntie Min,"" whose visit kids will appreciate: she makes a fuss over Oink (""our precious baby""), ignoring an increasingly irate Pearl; but at day's end Oink is in tears (""I am not a precious baby"")--bringing a mutual admission that they sometimes wish they were each other. Far below the Lobel level at which it's aiming, and a true older/younger contretemps only in part four.

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 1981
Publisher: Harper & Row