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PIGGY'S PANCAKE PARLOR

David M. McPhail, Author, David M. McPhail, Illustrator
David M. McPhail, Author, David M. McPhail, Illustrator . Dutton $15.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-525-45930-9
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In this appealing hybrid of picture- and chapter-book, McPhail (Pigs Aplenty, Pigs Galore!) introduces another affable addition to his menagerie of porcine characters. Piggy, the runt of the litter, is taken in by Mr. Farmer Todd and his wife, who teaches the helpful pig how to make her delicious pancakes—and even divulges the recipe's secret ingredient. After Fox, another runt who has left home to make his way in the world, wanders onto the farm and announces that he would like to settle down, Piggy and he open a pancake parlor together. ("I don't know how to cook anything else… so it will have to be pancakes," remarks the ingenuous porker.) Brief, tidy vignettes reveal diverting goings-on at the eatery: the unfailingly good-natured Piggy cleverly quashes the complaints of a perpetually grumpy customer, Piggy and Fox feed a busload of ravenous children who can't get home due to a flood, and a toy train the duo rigs up to deliver patrons' meals has a disastrous derailing. McPhail's understated narrative and winsome watercolor-and-ink pictures serve up generous portions of humor, making this delectable fare that goes down easily. Ages 4-8. (June)

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