The Story of the Little Piggy Who Couldn’t Say No

Sabine Ludwig, illus. by Sabine Wilharm. Skyhorse/Sky Pony, $16.95 (32p) ISBN 978-1-62087-684-8
This little piggy is too darn nice, and her much-anticipated journey to the shore is no day at the beach. With every turn of the page, the sweet-natured, wide-eyed Pig runs into animals whose behavior ranges from sweet-but-clueless (Mom demands a goodbye kiss, causing Pig to miss her bus) to selfish (a crybaby gator claims he needs her sunglasses more than she does) and downright mean (a cat demands her beach hat, “ ’Cause you don’t look so good in that!”). Will Pig ever stand up for herself? Ludwig and Wil-harm sidestep the expected narrative arc of triumphant assertion, forgiveness, and group hug in favor of a raucous mud bath—in real life, after all, kids often resolve problems with redirection rather than a big, showy reckoning. Ludwig’s rhymes are ill-served by an clunky and awkward translation from the original German (“Full of cheer, I left today/ to swim, but things are not okay!/ I’m in this mud, I’m really stuck./Stop laughing at my rotten luck!”). Wilharm’s illustrations, however, face no such language barrier, full of sunny colors and instantly familiar, highly expressive archetypes. Ages 4–6. (May)
Reviewed on: 04/22/2013
Release date: 05/01/2013
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