Sky Pig

Jan L. Coates, illus. by Suzanne Del Rizzo. Pajama (IPS, dist.), $17.95 (32p) ISBN 978-1-927485-98-9
Pigs and flying are the stuff of idiomatic legend, but a porker named Ollie is determined to make it happen in this offbeat story from Coates (Rocket Man) and Del Rizzo (Gerbil, Uncurled). With help from a young human friend, Jack, Ollie tries several methods of getting airborne, such as strapping branches to his body like wings and creating a parachute/kite hybrid. Every attempt ends with an “oooooomph!” and a “plop!” Del Rizzo stages the action in three-dimensional mixed-media scenes made from plasticine, clay, and other materials, capturing the imaginative energy Jack and Ollie bring to the task (one impressive set of wings features steampunk-style gears and straps) and the stinging defeats Ollie suffers. By the fourth time readers see the pig banged up from a fall, though, they’ll probably be ready for the story to move on, which it does with the arrival of a hot-air balloon. Coates trusts readers to fill in the gaps of things left unsaid by the text (Ollie never speaks, for starters), but occasional disconnects between storytelling and artwork may leave children puzzling over some of the scenes. Ages 4–7. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 07/25/2016
Release date: 09/01/2016
Genre: Children's
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