The expression “when pigs fly” is given a new twist as Norbert the pig dreams of swimming—not in just any pond, lake, or ocean, but the English Channel.
Norbert trains day after day and dreams night after night until he feels ready. Despite the snickering, snorting, and squealing of the other pigs, Norbert dons his gear and announces he is ready. There’s just one problem: where is the English Channel? If he can’t find it, he can’t swim it! Deflated, he strips off his goggles and flippers and plods back to the farm. Wait! What’s this? A sign with an arrow pointing to “Norbert’s Channel”—a stream on the farm the other pigs have marked for him. Ahh, a dream come true. But is Norbert done dreaming? Of course not. The last page shows him summiting a snow-covered mountain—presumably Everest. Bucci employs visible, broad brushstrokes and vivid colors to define the images and create a glossy patina. The technique is somewhat unusual, lending an eye-popping energy. While most kids will not know (or possibly even care about) the English Channel, they will find Norbert’s antics to get there mildly humorous, and they will appreciate his friends’ affectionate indulgence.
The message of dreaming big is secondary to the storyline, but Norbert is no stick-in-the-mud. (Picture book. 4-8)