cover image Alex and the Tart

Alex and the Tart

Guido van Genechten, Alex and the TartGuido van Ge. null, $6.95 (32pp) ISBN 978-1589253933

The first in a series about a family of pigs known as the Von Hamms, van Genechten's (The Cuddle Book ) tale features a young pig who undertakes a big pig errand, "eager to show everybody that he could do it." Alex volunteers for his first solo trip to the bakery, where his mother wants him to buy a large cherry tart and 25 rolls. But the task isn't as easy as expected when he forgets his mother's order. Alex eventually requests the whipped cream his mother didn't want and then struggles to carry the tart flat as the baker instructs. ("How could he keep a tart flat if the ground wasn't flat?") A trio of humorous spreads depicts the stout little fellow in blue overalls heading over bridge and hill while trying—and mostly succeeding—to keep the box flat. Lightly sketched rectangles around Alex change shape and position to reflect the tart's position (e.g., when he inadvertently tips the box vertically while descending some steps, the rectangle around him elongates vertically as well). First published in Belgium last year, the story features some European touches; old-style architecture and a town square (complete with pig statue) hint at its origins. While the jaunty vignettes, rendered in a mostly pastel palette, briskly move this charming pig tale along, it's Alex's age-appropriate plan to restore the tart to its former glory that will have young readers chuckling knowingly. Ages 3-7. (Oct.)