How Big is a Pig?

Stella Blackstone, Author, Clare Beaton, Illustrator Barefoot Books $14.99 (24p) ISBN 978-1-84148-077-0
For Beaton (Mother Goose Remembers, reviewed above), it really is a material world: she whips up bold, bright tableaux out of meticulously sewn felt (which she uses both as appliqu s and background) and embellishes the fuzzy fabric with judicious use of beads and sequins. Here, a smiling pink piggy coaxes the audience through a rhyming series about different kinds of opposites, ending each vignette with the title question. On the first of these full-bleed spreads, the piglet romps through a meadow where two cows, one skinny and one plump, pose with ladybugs: ""Some cows are thin; some cows are fat./ But how big is a pig? Can you tell me that?"" On a later spread, the pig encounters bees among the flowers: ""Some bees fly high; some bees fly low./ But how big is a pig? Tell me if you know!"" The answer is revealed in the final spread, when the pig happily reunites with a sow whose girth spills off the pages: ""This pig is my mom and she's the biggest of all!"" It's a sassy, unexpected wrap-up; Beaton will have her audience's attention all sewn up. Ages 2-6. (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 07/31/2000
Release date: 08/01/2000
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