Kirkus Reviews QR Code
CAPTAIN SMALL PIG by Martin Waddell


by Martin Waddell and illustrated by Susan Varley

Age Range: 4 - 7

Pub Date: March 1st, 2010
ISBN: 978-1-56145-519-5
Publisher: Peachtree

Old Goat (comfortably amiable), Turkey (a bit of a gloomy Gus) and Small Pig (enthusiasm incarnate) find a red boat and go rowing on Blue Lake. Small Pig wants to fish for whales, so Old Goat ties a string to an oar for him—but Small Pig only catches a boot. Next he wants to row by himself: “I’m Captain Commander!” Before long Small Pig announces he’s too tired to row any more, and Old Goat tells him to keep his hand on the tiller and let the boat drift. As the moon rises, all three are asleep until Old Goat wakes, rows back to the dock and upsets the boat, but Small Pig continues to dream of being Captain. Varley’s skillfully composed pen-and-ink illustrations lend an old-fashioned feeling to this gentle story, enlivening it with details like blue ticking on pillows and endpapers. Turkey wears a hat and vest, and Old Goat wears a white shirt and striped knickers, while Small Pig sports rolled-up pants and a polo shirt. This is an affectionate nod to friendship between ages (and types). (Picture book. 4-7)