Pignatius the pig learns that clothes make the man—er, prince.
While strolling past the palace one day, Pignatius spots a tray of fresh buns cooling near an open door. He makes short, delicious work of them and, figuring that there might be more inside, enters the palace. In the kitchen, he downs a big jar of cream, scaring the cook in the process. Ascending the winding staircase, Pignatius enters a sumptuous bedroom decorated all in blue, pokes around in a “dressing-up chest,” and finds breaches, buckles, and a big orange wig, all of which he dons. The cook and a clutch of servants burst into the room with makeshift weapons—and immediately bow and apologize! Pignatius eats a luscious feast and inspects the new guard. Then his impish side takes over; he instructs them to hop like frogs and blows up the gardener’s prize pumpkin. Pignatius is enjoying a tub of sweets when in strides…the genuine prince, a dead ringer for the costumed pig. Bently’s rhymed reworking of the Mark Twain classic is appropriately silly; young readers should identify with Pignatius’ curiosity and mischief. Roberts’ elegant yet loopy illustrations—in watercolors, pen, and ink—are a big enhancement. A dark-skinned duchess, footman, and some guards lend diversity to the otherwise white cast, all of whom are fitted out in an agreeable mishmash of ornate frills and furbelows.
Peachy. (Picture book. 4-7)