Churchill’s Tale of Tails

Anca Sandu. Peachtree, $16.95 (32p) ISBN 978-1-56145-738-0
Tails make the pig, as the old saying goes—or should go, anyway, according to this story by debut author Sandu, first published in the U.K. After a bon vivant pig named Churchill loses his own curlicue, he tries on some spares from other animals, with unexpected results: a fish tail turns Churchill into a swan-diving swimmer, an elephant’s tail makes him feel like a porcine version of the Hulk, and a tiger’s tail convinces him that he is “the world’s strongest, bravest pig.” Churchill gets so caught up in his new identities that he has no time for his old friends. Sandu doesn’t quite know how to bring her story full circle—the ending doesn’t match the freshness of the pages that precede it—but she’s a talent to watch. She has a strong a sense of visual craft, and her compositional, character, and comic skills are equal to those of many veterans. The self-possessed Churchill, rendered as a soft peach biomorph with tiny eyes, is a wonderful creation; most readers should willingly forgive—if not downright envy—his substitute tail–induced hauteur. Ages 4–8. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 01/20/2014
Release date: 03/01/2014
Genre: Children's
Paperback - 32 pages - 978-1-56145-782-3
Ebook - 32 pages - 978-1-4464-9533-9
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