Kirkus Reviews QR Code


by Lindsay Lee Johnson & illustrated by Carll Cneut

Age Range: 3 - 7

Pub Date: April 1st, 2011
ISBN: 978-0-618-86866-7
Publisher: Clarion

As everybody knows, piglets are unhinged by the moon, to the light of which they are drawn like really big moths. Johnson’s porkers are a case in point, staging a breakout when mom and pop are asleep and the moon at its most intoxicating: “All in a scramble, / all ready to gambol, / ten moonstruck piglets / on a midnight ramble.” Gambol and scoot, sure, but also plunder and loot, before heading toward less-populated precincts. Now in the countryside, the piglets dance, squeal and snort (one, however, spends his romp reading a book)—lunatics, in a word. Cneut has drawn superb nightscapes: dark-cobalt skies, black earth, shadows, mystery, a great moony moon, through which the piglets—looking like the porcine equivalents of Shar Pei dogs—frisk and whirl (or read). Then clouds douse the moonlight, an owl swoops, a fox prowls: MAMA! “She wakes with a grunt, / quickly takes to the hunt, / calling her piglets, / tracking each runt.” Through skillful wordplay, the musical texture of the quatrains and artwork of delirious witchery, this old chestnut of youngsters cutting loose their inner pagans only to suddenly see the light—MAMA!—feels fresh and amusing. Both the eye and the ear will be entranced. (Picture book. 3-7)