cover image Little Pigs Tale

Little Pigs Tale

Nigel Gray. Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing, $13.95 (26pp) ISBN 978-0-02-736942-7

Little Pig is in a dither. His mother's birthday is coming up, and he doesn't know what to get for her. The obvious choices--a spaceship, an orchard, glittering jewels--prove too difficult to procure. A series of disasters befall the more mundane possibilities, such as homemade muffins (they get burnt) and an original painting (``an ugly splotch'' spoils it). Finally, in the nick of time, Little Pig has a brainstorm,stet comma and giftwraps himself. His delighted mother responds, ``There's nothing in the world I'd rather have.'' Gray has deftly plucked one of the more common episodes from the annals of family life and, with uncommon skill, gently shown that often the things that are most valuable are not tangible. Rees's fey, sprightly watercolors perfectly complement the ebullient tone. Ages 3-7. (Sept.)