Saturday, April 1, 2017, 11:15 a.m.Staff PicksNortheast Library
They're round, pink and curly-tailed. Pigs as main characters have appeared in children's literature for decades - think Piglet, Wilbur, and Babe. Kids today find them just as adorable as their parents did and fortunately, these newer characters are plentiful. Here is a mini selection of "Pig Tales" for young children, so go hog wild and get acquainted with some darling pigs.
Board Books (Ages Birth-3)
Peppa Pig (Neville Astley)
Peppa Pig has come to America from British television and captured the hearts of kids ages 1 to 3. Peppa lives with her Mummy Pig and Daddy Pig and her brother pig George. She's lovable and precocious like most of our book-pigs, but Peppa can also be a little bossy. Still, she's cheerful and her many adventures address common preschool themes such as going to the dentist, losing a tooth, and making friends. Peppa Pig is also an Easy Reader series for ages 4 to 8.
Perfect Piggies: A Book! A Song! A Celebration! (Sandra Boyton)
These piggies have it made in the shade! They frolic in the sun, too, and put up their hooves at the end of the day. Go online and listen to the swing tune of the same name by Adam Bryant and Michael Ford. Sandra Boyton's whimsical artwork appears in board books on every animal from A to Z.
Easy Readers (Ages 3-6)
Pig in a Wig (Emma Virjan)
A new series where every story begins with "What this story needs is..." This cute pig in a wig has all kinds of smartly drawn friends who will surely delight early readers.
Elephant and Piggie (Mo Willems)
Preschoolers love Gerald and Piggie! Gerald, the elephant, is cautious while Piggie is more carefree, but their friendship is rock solid. Willems is widely known for his amusing Knuffle Bunny stories.
Oliver and Amanda (Jean Van Leeuwen)
This "easy-to-read" series about siblings Amanda and Oliver and their family gives first graders short, simple text in four- and five-page chapters.
Picture Books (Ages 2-5)
Pig Tale (Helen Oxenbury)
A rhyming morality tale of Briggs and Berta, two bored pigs who learn that the grass is not always greener on the other side and you must be careful what you wish for. By the author of the Tom and Pippo series.
Louie! (Will Hillenbrand)
If you passed on this book because you read its cover and thought, "It's only about a pig who paints," then you would miss a special story. Louie! is a mostly true story about the artist and creator of Madeline, Ludwig Bemelmans. Like Bemelmans, Louie grows up hearing his mother's stories about her boarding school "covered in vines" with girls who "walked in two straight lines." Grab this book and you'll be delighted by the rich story of how Madeline, the spunky French school girl, came to be.
Piggies (Audrey and Don Wood)
Ten delightful pigs sitting atop ten fingers will surely bring out the giggles before bedtime. Brilliant drawings with fine details beg for close inspection and repeated readings.
Wendell Fultz lives in a pigsty of a room, so it's natural that some pigs would be comfortable there amidst the clutter. Wendell happily accommodates the porcine pack when they come a-knockin' - until things get out of hand and Wendell declares a clean-up. Teague's acrylic artwork sells the story of oinker mayhem and an untidy boy. If you need more of Teague's exaggerated pig antics, check out his retelling of a traditional tale in Three Little Pigs and the Somewhat Bad Wolf.
Olivia (Ian Falconer)
The first book in the Olivia series and a winner of a Caldecott Honor, Olivia is introduced to soon-to-be fans as "This is Olivia. She is good at many things." She dances, sings, appreciates art, and builds sand castles, but she won't wear pink like all the other fairy princesses (that's another story!) Falconer created Olivia for his niece, and you can tell he spent a lot of time with an energetic, intelligent and imaginative little family member.
The Three Pigs (David Wiesner)
In this version of the famous story, the three little pigs escape the huffing-puffing bad wolf and leap off their pages and into other children's classic tales! This story twist is unexpected and clever and kids will take notice of the pigs' creativity to survive the big bad guy. The artwork is marvelous, similar in quality to Wiesner's Caldecott Winner and wordless picture book Tuesday.
Bumble-Ardy (Maurice Sendak)
Bumble-Ardy has a party at ten past nine! What fun he has with his best friends swine, that is until he's discovered, by his Aunt Adeline!
Early Chapter Books (Ages 5-9)
Mercy Watson (Kate DiCamillo)
Mercy is a jovial pet pig who loves buttered toast and the creature comforts of the homey house she shares with the kind Mr. and Mrs. Watson. Mercy's quirky neighbors and townspeople fill out the cast of characters and reappear in the series, bringing familiarity to these beginner chapter books for emerging readers.
The Pirate Pig (Cornelia Funke)
Sailor Stout Sam and deckhand Pip lead a peaceful life on their island home, Butterfly Island. Things change suddenly when a treasure-sniffing pig named Julie washes up on shore. Julie helps Sam and Pip acquire a few treasures, but it's their boasting that gets them noticed. Along comes nasty pirate Barracuda Bill to steal Julie, and Sam and Pip will do anything to get her back. This book is for older chapter book readers who want more of a challenge than the Mercy Watson books.