Getting Piggy With It
It is a truth universally acknowledged that when you work with children, you have to learn jokes that they’ll love. What lies at the bottom of the ocean and shivers? A nervous wreck! As a children’s librarian, I like to think I earn bonus points when my jokes and snark make the adults laugh as well. Many adults may recognize the 1997 Will Smith song “Gettin Jiggy Wit It,” and one day it occurred to me: what if we made a children’s book display called “Getting Piggy With It”?
These ten fantastic picture books that are all about pigs. This list includes traditional stories and retellings, books about pigs who live on farms, and books with fully anthropomorphized pigs.
The Three Little Pigs by Paul Galdone
The story of The Three Little Pigs is a childhood staple that’s been retold many times over the years. For readers who are new to the story or just looking to get back to basics with the original, Galdone’s The Three Little Pigs is the perfect fit. As usual, the three pigs build their houses out of straw, sticks, and bricks, and this picture book especially focuses on how the third pig manages to outsmart the wolf.
The Three Ninja Pigs by Corey Rosen Schwartz
Sometimes it seems like characters in folktales never have any hobbies, but that’s not the case for these three little pigs. These protagonists are tired of getting pushed around by the big bad wolf, so they make a plan to protect themselves, and luckily there’s a Ninja School in town. Pig One learns aikido and Pig Two learns jujitsu, but neither one makes it to the end of their training. Meanwhile, Pig Three learns karate and earns the highest honors possible. Will each pig manage to defend themselves and stop the wolf?
The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs by Jon Scieszka
Usually, the story of The Three Little Pigs is told by a third-person narrator, and the Big Bad Wolf is the bad guy. Scieszka’s story is told by the Big Bad Wolf himself, who was hoping the pigs would be neighborly and loan him a cup of sugar. As it turns out, a bad cold and poorly built structures make for some pretty unfortunate circumstances. For audiences wondering who the real bad guy is, The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs may clear some things up.
The Princess and the Pig by Jonathan Emmett
Many readers are familiar with the villains in fairy tales, such as Snow White’s stepmother trying to poison her, or a wicked fairy cursing Sleeping Beauty so she falls asleep when she pricks her finger. In this story, a queen gives birth to a human named Priscilla, and a farmer and his wife have a piglet daughter named Priscilla. When the two switch places during a mishap, it’s assumed that this is simply the plot of fairy tales encroaching on real life, and everyone assumes that the pig is now a princess, and the princess is now a pig. Will anyone figure out what’s really going on?
Ping Pong Pig by Caroline Jayne Church
When pigs fly is a common expression used to say that something will probably never happen. All of the animals who live on Apple Tree Farm spend their days doing chores except for Ping Pong Pig who is determined to fly. What upsets the other animals is how much destruction Ping Pong Pig manages to cause, such as ruining fresh coats of paint on farm buildings and letting the bees out. Can these farmyard friends find a way for Ping Pong Pig to achieve his dreams without ruining the whole farm?
Pigs to the Rescue by John Himmelman
Living on a farm is hard work as Farmer Greenstalk and his family know all too well. With something new going wrong everyday, an extra pair of hands to help out sure would be useful. Instead, Farmer Greenstalk has several pairs of hooves that, although well meaning, tend to make situations worse. Will the pigs save the day, or will Farmer Greenstalk have to save the day from the pigs?
Ribbit! by Rodrigo Folgueira
Pigs live in barnyards and say oink. These are facts that children learn early on. This pig, however, is an exception. One morning, several frogs find a pig hanging out on a rock in their pond, and all he has to say for himself is “Ribbit.” Will the frogs find out why he’s there, and will the pig fit in at his new home?
Pigs Aplenty, Pigs Galore by David McPhail
It turns out that some pigs will show up uninvited, using any traditional mode of transportation to get there. Some may wonder what happens when they arrive, but the better question is, what doesn’t happen? It turns out pigs are partiers who will invite all of their friends and will do everything from eating people out of house and home to making a huge mess. What’s a human to do when bedtime comes but the pigs don’t want to leave?
A Pig Parade Is A Terrible Idea by Michael Ian Black
Lots of people love parades, so why not look for excuses to have even more parades? They happen on Saint Patrick’s Day, the Fourth of July, and for Cherry Blossoms, and in this book, the author tells us about a parade that is full of pigs. It turns out that pigs are stubborn, and want to do things entirely their own way. If anyone thinks a pig parade is just what the world needs, Michael Ian Black will tell you why it isn’t.
Toot and Puddle: Top of the World by Holly Hobbie
Toot and Puddle: Top of the World live a cozy life together in Woodcock Paddock. One morning, Toot decides to go out for a bit, but Puddle is perplexed when Toot doesn’t come back. When he finally finds and follows Toot’s hoof prints through the woods, Puddle finds himself swept away on an adventure around the world. Puddle is sure to have an adventure, but will he get his best friend back along the way?