MRS. PIG GETS CROSS And Other Stories by Mary Rayner
Kirkus Star

MRS. PIG GETS CROSS And Other Stories

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What riches! Seven more episodes in the eventful lives of the 10 pig children and their parents (four previously published in Cricket magazine): wise, true to the concerns of childhood, and graced with both humor and suspense. In the title story, a weary Mother Pig gives up picking up after the children; moreover, she and Mr. Pig get so involved in arguing over who will make tea that they both go to bed without even locking the door. Later that night, a foxy burglar stumbles on so many toys that he goes away empty-handed; and in a delightful last touch, Rayner points out that the moral is not to leave toys about, but, rather, not to make your parents so cross that they forget to bolt the door. In other stories, William climbs the drainpipe to rescue little Garth, locked in the bathroom, giving Garth the idea of growing up to be a burglar; Alun and William help out in the potato patch by planting bananas and acorns and, inadvertently, a squash seed that does come to fruition; after a sex-determined allocation of tasks, the piglets have a series of boys-versus-girls contests, which the judge (Mr. Pig) declares a tie; and in the somewhat frightening concluding story, a disguised wolf (who looks a lot like the dreadful Ice Cream Lady) comes to a party and offers to help Garth to bed; she's about to put him in a scalding bath when the other piglets come to the rescue. Told with Rayner's usual economy and wit, with charming pen and watercolor illustrations that capture the essence of the happy but uproarious Pig family, this is a perfect first chapter-book for preschool listeners or young readers.

Pub Date: March 1st, 1987
Page count: 64pp
Publisher: Dutton