These three little porkers behave like...well, you know, until their mama teaches them a surprising lesson.
Piglets Sweet Pea, Nibbles and Clean Bean can’t wait to explore the farm. Mama Pig’s admonition to “[b]e good little pigs” goes in three pink ears and out the others. After sneaking through a sturdy fence (they scrape and scramble and squiggle and jiggle and shove and shimmy), the trio finds itself in the middle of an inviting patch of delicious vegetables. They attack them with vigor, gobbling and gulping and mashing and mangling and swallowing and swilling. What’s left when the vegetables are gone is dirt, which quickly turns into mud that’s perfect for wallowing. And they do. Stuffed and contented, they sneak back home. When she sees them, Mama Pig snorts a great big “Humph!” They sheepishly confess to all their (mis)deeds, and Mama grimly marches them to the barn. After closing the barn door, she tells them, “I’m so proud I could bust a gut!” The three little piglets kiss and snuggle with their Mama—“Smush. Smack. Smooch”—before falling asleep. Helakoski packs her porcine tale with vivid verbs that are oversized and highlighted and mostly come, appropriately, in trios. The final twist, however, though piggily appropriate, comes out of the blue and lacks textual explication, which will likely confuse young readers.
Gleeful—and opaque. (Picture book. 3-6)