cover image What This Story Needs Is a Pig in a Wig

What This Story Needs Is a Pig in a Wig

Emma J. Virján. Harper, $9.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-06-232724-6

In a story with echoes of Seuss and Willems, Virján (Nacho the Party Puppy) offers a very funny lesson about the unreliability of narrators. “What this story needs,” the unseen narrator declares, “is a pig.” Fair enough: the pig, pink and drawn in a naïve cartoon style, appears in a spotlight. When the narrator decrees that the pig don a red bouffant wig and climb in a boat in a moat “with a frog,/ a dog,/ and a goat on a log,” the pig goes along with the plan, though it’s clear dubiousness is setting in. But when the narrator keeps adding so many rhyming characters and objects that it imperils everyone on board the tiny pink ship, the pig finally speaks up. “Hey!” she calls out, “It’s getting crowded in here, don’t you think?/ Off of this boat before we all sink!” Taking control of the narration, the pig sends the other animals packing, but the final scene sets things right while tipping its hat to a classic line from Jaws. Ages 4–8. Agent: Edite Kroll, Edite Kroll Literary Agency. (May)