The story opens with the trope of a longed-for child and has as many twists as a pig’s tail.
White Mrs. Tati echoes numerous folk-tale characters when she cries, “I wish we had a sweet little baby!” and in the story’s first twist, white Mr. Tati searches for one at a Baby Shop. After learning they sell baby supplies but not babies, he encounters a street pig vendor and impulsively buys one on his way home. Mrs. Tati is delighted. They name him Potter and raise him like a baby, clothing him, feeding him with a bottle, wearing him in a baby-carrier, and letting him sleep in their bed. When he’s ready for school they outfit him with new clothes and supplies, and he’s depicted as bipedal and utterly anthropomorphic. Nevertheless, the headmistress says the school isn’t for pigs, and despite initial disappointment, the Tatis let Potter lead a piggish life of playing in mud, sleeping outside in hay, and eschewing clothing. Potter seems pleased, but Mrs. Tati still wishes he were a child who looked like them, and digital illustrations show a vision of Potter’s Pinocchio-like transformation into a real boy. After he reiterates his wife’s wish to the stars, Mr. Tati effects his own surprising transformation and hers—when they become pigs like their beloved Potter.
While repeated readings won’t offer surprise, squeals of laughter are assured. (Picture book. 3-6)