A Pig is Moving In!
In German author/illustrator Fries's fable-like tale, three animals expect the worst when a pig moves into their apartment building. ""Everyone knows that pigs are messy and dirty and sloppy,"" states Henrietta Hen. Seeing what they want to see, she and two neighbors eagerly report to one another on the transgressions of their new neighbor, whom they spy dropping pieces of firewood on the sidewalk, a bag of flour by the stairwell and what appears to be mud (but is actually clay) in the hall. What they don't see is Theodore the pig's subsequent diligence in cleaning up after himself. While they gossip, the ambitious pig busily builds a fire in his fireplace, bakes cookies and fashions clay game pieces in the likeness of each neighbor for a parlor game. When the neighbors call on Theodore to complain, they learn the embarrassing truth but become fast friends. Diverting details abound in Fries's cartoonish watercolors, which effectively reinforce this tale's warning about judging by appearances. Ages 4-7. (Sept.)