cover image A Normal Pig

A Normal Pig

K-Fai Steele. HarperCollins/Balzer + Bray, $17.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-06-274857-7

Pip, the only spotted pig in her class, is “a normal pig who did normal stuff.” But Pip feels unmoored and vulnerable when a new pig at school points to her lunch of greens and dried seaweed and bellows, “Eww!! What are you eating?! It stinks!!” When a pig asks if Pip’s mom, who is dark gray, is her babysitter, it’s too much (“Why can’t you make me a normal lunch?!” she sobs at home). Instead of rushing in to fix things for Pip, her parents take her to the city for the first time, where she sees many different kinds of pigs, none of whom seems to feel that who they are (or what they eat) makes them strange. In her solo debut, Steele (Noodlephant) conveys how quickly a kid’s world can unravel, but she also shows how powerful and comforting a wider perspective can be. The watercolor-and-ink cartooning combines a keen eye for domestic and school dynamics with a sweet goofiness that pulls readers through the story, until Pip emerges at the end a wiser and stronger pig. Ages 4–8. Agent: Erica Rand Silverman, Stimola Literary Studio. [em](June) [/em]