Portly Pig is much too clean and searches for the perfect muddy pool.
He soon discovers a good patch in the corner of a field and makes himself sufficiently dirty. When a brief rainstorm washes him clean, he quickly heads back to this new favorite spot to muck himself up all over again. While the story is slight, the key attraction is the large blue button/speaker on the cover that’s accessible on every page through a die-cut circle. When pushed, it activates a sound chip that produces realistic pig grunts and barnyard bird song. Scheffler uses richly colored gouache and a bold black outline to create playful and expressive farm critters, all with the artist’s signature circular, bulgy eyes. Each one-page scene is paired with a quatrain on a solid background on the opposite page to relay the simple tale. In the companion title, Gobbly Goat, the title character searches for something yummy to eat until he spies a bowl of strawberries and cream inside a farmhouse. He promptly breaks in, devours the treat, and eats the flowers in a vase as well. This offering in the series also employs a large button that bleats realistically when pushed. A button battery is secured behind a plastic panel in the back cover and can be accessed or replaced only with a tiny Phillips screwdriver.
While the writing is not as whimsical as in predecessors Cuddly Cow and Higgly Hen (both 2017), the prospect of pushing buttons will make this a toddler crowd pleaser. (Board book. 1-3)