Into the crowded field of porcine protagonists comes Piggy, a friendless pig who loves to read.
Piggy has been too busy reading all his life to make real friends. When he’s down to his last book, he decides to save it. Then he grabs the first toy he comes upon—a kite—and heads out to fly it. He crashes his kite, but he sees a cat sitting on a swing, nose in a book. He decides to make her his friend. First he tries to get her attention with giant soap bubbles and gets literally carried away in a bubble. Then he tries flying his airplane overhead, trailing a friendly banner; she doesn’t notice. However inventive he gets, the cat continues to read. Then Piggy gets an idea: friends in his books share what they love with each other. He gives the cat, Kate, his last book. She’s overjoyed to get it, but she needs glasses like Piggy’s to read it—happily, he’s got a pair. (At this point readers will wonder how she was reading the book that so fascinated her in the preceding pages.) Entrepreneur and digital artist Lai’s traditional publishing debut has great intentions but not a lot of personality. Piggy trots well-tread ground in the digitally finished watercolor-and-pencil illustrations, which are bright but spare and uninteresting. Rather than a developed character, he resembles an emoji given a bland and illogical tale to inhabit.
Pass on this porky paean to friendship; stick with Piggie with a side of Elephant. (Picture book. 3-7)