cover image Day by Day

Day by Day

Susan Gal. Knopf, $16.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-375-86959-4

“Mile by mile, pigs motor west/ Brick by brick, pigs build a house,/ and piece by piece, it becomes a home.” In a porcine version of a 1930s-era migration, a family of pigs in period clothing arrives in a rural community and settles in. Writing in rhythmic free verse that recalls the “inch by inch, row by row” children’s song, Gal (Into the Outdoors) creates gaily colored spreads using digital collage, then fills them with friendly, hard-working pigs. The pigs harvest their first crop, then celebrate in a distinctly piggy way: in the book’s best moment, plump, rosy pigs strip down to lacy underthings and tighty-whities and race to the gigantic mudhole (“Layer by layer, pigs shed their clothes... and one by one, pigs cannonball!”). A spread shows the whole clan floating and snorkeling; in a sly A.A. Milne reference, a small pig clutches a toy Piglet (other literary pig references are tucked into the story for eagle-eyed readers). Comforting and conflict-free, the book’s sense of predictability makes it promising bedtime material. Ages 5–9. Agent: Morgan Gaynin Inc. (July)