WHEN THE PIGS TOOK OVER

Arthur Dorros, Author, Diane Greenseid, Illustrator , illus. by Diane Greenseid. Dutton $15.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-525-42030-9

A surfeit of snails, a bevy of blackbirds and a plethora of pigs take turns overrunning a New Mexican town in Dorros's (Abuela) comic tale of two very different siblings. Grandiose restaurateur Don Carlos (wearing several hats, turquoise boots and an oversize monogrammed belt buckle) applies his more-is-better-thinking to the menu, adding snails to the lineup—and sets off an entire chain of events. He enlists his violin-playing (and more pragmatic) younger brother, Alonzo, to gather wheelbarrows full of the gastropods. Greenseid's (Mrs. Piccolo's Easy Chair) cheery paintings, saturated in fiesta-bright colors, inject hilarity into the proceedings. Slightly plump people and edifices recoil from the infestation of caracoles winding among the village streets. Alonso suggests they bring in birds to eat the snails, and then pigs. Each time, Don Carlos calls for más, with disastrous results: in one spread, frantic townsfolk hide under umbrellas and in garbage cans while birds nest atop heads and commandeer a baby carriage. Other vignettes chronicle the pigs' pursuit of food as they topple iceboxes, upend barrels and break dishes in the restaurant. With a variation on the Pied Piper theme, Alonzo leads the villagers in a band to expel the swine; the people pick up instruments and their cacophonous tunes do the trick. Spiced with Spanish phrases, this story and its clever ending will have children calling for más when it's through. Ages 4-8. (Feb.)

Reviewed on: 12/17/2001
Release date: 02/01/2002
Genre: Children's
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