Margaret Wise Brown, Author, Dan Yaccarino, Illustrator , illus. by Dan Yaccarino. Hyperion $15.99 (24p) ISBN 978-0-7868-0600-3

Published for the first time as a standalone, this story from Brown's 1939 collection, The Fish with the Deep Sea Smile, features a boy who understands that creatures are never all good or all bad, but good and bad all at once—a reassuring message for small children. When Peter tells his mother that he wants a "good little bad little pig," she admits she has never heard of such a thing, but agrees to try to find one. Yaccarino's (Unlovable) gouaches both date and update the tale, supplying Leave It to Beaver clothes for Peter's parents and kidney-shaped furniture for their living room. The characters' resemblance to playthings reinforces Peter's upbeat, positive approach. Once the pig is delivered, Peter's mother says that it is dirty and Peter's father does not like the way it runs around the house squealing. "Remember," Peter admonishes them, "this is a good little bad little pig." Peter takes charge of everything, feeding and bathing his pet by himself; he soon convinces his parents that the pig is malleable after all. "Sometimes the little pig was good and sometimes he was bad," the story ends, "but he was the very best pig any boy ever had." Peter and his barnyard pet make engaging, low-key heroes, especially in the incongruous suburban setting; younger children may well identify with the porcine hero, with its mix of angel and imp, and make this a favorite. Ages 3-7. (Sept.)

Reviewed on: 09/30/2002
Release date: 09/01/2002
Hardcover - 1 pages - 978-0-7868-2514-1
Hardcover - 32 pages - 978-1-4748-6273-8
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