A charming pig wishes to be every animal but himself in this rhyming board book from debut author Orion and veteran illustrator Gallegos (The Santa Thief, 2017).
One summer morning, Ernie the pig is distracted from his mud puddle by a beautiful butterfly. He asks, quite politely, if she would teach him how to fly, but she calls him silly and tells him to “rejoice in the little things.” Ernie mopes down to the water where he sees fish swimming. He asks them to teach him how to swim and is similarly rebuffed. When he sees two squirrels climbing, he doesn’t even bother to ask them; he just wishes he could play in the trees like they do. But happily, when his fellow pigs call him back to the mud puddle, he joins in the fun. The theme of being happy with your own gifts is reminiscent of Leo Lionni’s classic Fish Is Fish, and readers will chuckle at Ernie’s imagined pictures of a pig with butterfly wings, a fish tail, and a squirrel body, delightfully conjured by Gallegos. Many of the rhyming couplets, however, are a stretch: flutter/flower, boy/cry, dream/swim, piggy/tizzy, etc. Young readers drawn to the pictures and old enough to read independently may not be bothered, but children learning how to rhyme may find these reaches off-putting. The book also offers an augmented reality app (not reviewed) to enhance Gallegos’s colorful illustrations.
Stilted but enchantingly illustrated.