A PIG NAMED PERRIER

Elizabeth Spurr, Author, Martin Matje, Illustrator, Martin Matje, Author , illus. by Martin Matje. Hyperion $15.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-7868-0302-6

Perrier is a "pedigreed miniature potbellied pig," whose sparkling brand-namesake presumably implies purity and status. He belongs to a raven-haired starlet called Marbella, who totes him around Beverly Hills in a designer purse. On country vacations, Perrier usually sits poolside, but one day he meets some other pigs at a wallow. They tempt him to join them in the muck ("Good for what ails you," one says). Muddy and ashamed, he skulks home to Marbella and vows to "stay clean." But "try as he might, he could not purge his urge to sludge." Matje (Harry and Lulu) uses an elegant palette of warm pinks and grays on an expansive white ground; he sullies his mannered drawings with sensuous blotches of brown. Spurr (The Long, Long Letter) uses tabloid phrases to describe the high-class pig's lowdown habit. The plot may be familiar, but the gossipy voice and the outcome provide humor and a twist: Perrier hits rock-bottom, but bounces back when Marbella's mud facial masque and a trip for two to a Palm Desert mud bath enable him to sate his filthy desires and his uppity tastes alike. Ages 3-7. (Apr.)

Reviewed on: 03/18/2002
Release date: 04/01/2002
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