LITTLE PIG FIGWORT CAN'T GET TO SLEEP

Henrietta Branford, Author, Claudio Munoz, Illustrator , illus. by Claudio Muñoz. Clarion $14 (32p) ISBN 978-0-618-15968-0

The eponymous hero is a porcine insomniac with a sense of adventure. The late Branford's (Fire, Bed and Bone; The Fated Sky) narrative is unfortunately sometimes wordy; however, Muñoz's (The Barefoot Book of Trickster Tales) luminous and bracingly unsentimental watercolors more than compensate. Little Pigwort tosses and turns with an expression of disdain that makes it clear he holds the world responsible for his condition. When he searches for late-night entertainment at the bottom of the sea and at the North Pole and succeeds only in rousing a number of grumpy creatures, he communicates hauteur with every inch of his diminutive porky body. Little Pigwort finally does find a place that's as wide-awake as he: the moon, which is "much too shiny bright to sleep," populated by sunglass-sporting moon pigs. The artist goes to town in these extraterrestrial scenes, set against a star-spangled, denim-blue night sky: the piggy goings-on come across as a combination of Mardi Gras, New Year's Eve and a never-ending recess. Worn out from all this cavorting, Little Pigwort finally gives in to sleep. But readers will close the book cheering that he extended his curfew—if only for a little while. Ages 4-7. (Mar.)

Reviewed on: 01/14/2002
Release date: 03/01/2002
Genre: Children's
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