The Pig Who Ran a Red Light, becomes an adoptive mother in this third book about an unconventiona"/>


Paul Brett Johnson, Author
Paul Brett Johnson, Author . Scholastic/Orchard $15.95 (40p) ISBN 978-0-531-30317-7
Reviewed on: 04/23/2001
Release date: 04/01/2001

Magnolia the goose, who made a cameo appearance in Johnson's The Pig Who Ran a Red Light, becomes an adoptive mother in this third book about an unconventional farm. Amid a rural vista of steep blue hillsides, wood-frame barns and a dusty dirt path, Magnolia plays with a rubber ducky. Later, she sits on a basket of Easter eggs. "Magnolia wants to be a mama," realizes Miss Rosemary, a white-haired, spinsterly farmer. "Well, quit your fretting, dear. That sort of thing happens in its own good time." When Magnolia gets offended and gives this book its title, her barnyard friends fear that she has run off to join the Ding-a-Ling Circus, conspicuously advertised on the endpapers and on a poster that adorns a ramshackle shed. Johnson piques interest in the circus, then avoids doing the expected. Magnolia is not interested in show-biz, and a placard touting the "world's cutest baby elephant" offers the real key to the outcome. Johnson plays to his fans with bit parts for Gertrude the cow and George the pig (who don baby bonnets and "gosling" beaks to assuage Magnolia's maternal instincts), and provides his trademark, light-speckled Appalachian settings. With the addition of the elephant, he sacrifices a modicum of rustic charm, but sets up a sequel to this tall tale: the Ding-a-Ling Circus promises to return "same time next year." Ages 3-6. (Apr.)

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