Will You Read to Me?
This sweet-tempered book features lonely Hamlet—a pig who just doesn't fit in with the rest of his family. He wears clean tennis shoes, doesn't like mud and loves to read and write poetry. Hamlet's benighted parents not only refuse to read his new book to him, but they belittle his efforts to write poems. “It's a good thing there's not two of him,” says one relative, and Hamlet's brother adds, “Twins.... Hamlet and Eggs.” The slovenly, mean-spirited hogs fight through the mud to get to their fresh slops as sweet-tempered Hamlet wanders off towards the farmer's pond undaunted. When Hamlet mistakes his pond reflection for his twin, he is disappointed when the “twin” doesn't respond to the poetry he recites. But he soon finds he's had an appreciative audience all along when a multitude of woodland critters ask, “Will you read to us?” Hamlet's endearing misbuttoned shirt, floppy ears and insouciant grin help Cazet (The Perfect Pumpkin Pie ) convey that this is a child-sized Everypoet rather than a priggish stick in the mud. The full-bleed watercolor and colored pencil illustrations feature the golden hues of sunset and deep greens and blues of the pastoral landscape, making it evident how nature has captured Hamlet's eye. Ages 3-6. (June)