cover image Piggies


Audrey Wood, Don Wood. Harcourt Children's Books, $17 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-15-256341-7

These inventive collaborators ( Heckedy Peg ; The Napping House ) have turned the simple subject of a child's hands into a unique combination of concept and fantasy. As each digit takes on the endearing persona of a ``piggy,'' the stage is set for a whimsical and thought-provoking jaunt. Two fat little piggies--thumbs which each support a rowdy rendering of a porker--stand alone on the opening spread and are soon joined (with a turn of the page) by other outstretched fingers and a cast of ``long,'' ``silly,'' ``smart'' and ``wee'' swine. The subjects are depicted in various states (``clean little piggies'' gambol amid frothy bubbles), until bedtime arrives and the irrepressible pigs ``skip down my tummy, dance on my toes, then run away and hide.'' Don Wood's subjects have a quirky charm--his vibrant palette is bolstered here by strong pinks, of pig and flesh tones. Although the text is slight, the pages harbor a wealth of visual detail worthy of repeated viewings. Ages 3-6. (Apr.)