City pig Poppleton adjusts to small-town life in this understated and roundly appealing chapter book. In ""Neighbors,"" the polite Poppleton tries to think up a polite way to say ""no thanks"" to Cherry Sue, a friendly llama who invites him to breakfast, lunch and dinner every single day. When his aggravation expresses itself as rudeness, Cherry Sue admits that she didn't know how to stop issuing invitations without hurting Poppleton's feelings, and the two become best friends. The second vignette, ""The Library,"" details Poppleton's reading ritual, which demands solitude. Finally, ""The Pill"" introduces Fillmore, a sick goat who refuses to take his pill unless Poppleton hides it in a cake, whereupon the stubborn goat eats all the other slices until he reaches the one with the medicine: "" `I can't eat that one,' he said. `It has a pill.' "" As in Rylant's other series for beginning readers (Henry and Mudge; Mr. Potter and Tabby), her concise sentences mimic the characters' good manners and wryly point up the failures of etiquette. Teague contributes fetching watercolor-and-pencil images of the pudgy pig, slender llama and dignified goat; the compositions are airier and the palette lighter than in his Pigsty or The Secret Shortcut. The end pages offer a satisfying bird's-eye view of the quaint, cozy neighborhood, with all three characters strolling the sidewalks. Ages 4-7. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 03/03/1997 Release date: 03/01/1997 Genre: Children's
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