cover image Ribbit!


Rodrigo Folgueira, illus. by Poly Bernatene. Knopf, $15.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-307-98146-2

In a story from the duo behind Bob the Dog, a pink pig appears on a rock in a pond amid a large family of anxious frogs, confounding them all by enigmatically repeating “Ribbit,” like a cheerful cousin to Poe’s raven. What is the meaning of his call? Has he decided not to be a pig anymore? “This new relative of yours is a little pink!” says a raccoon, cocking his head skeptically. Bernatene’s animals, painted on paper whose grain can be seen underneath the washed strokes of color, have oversize snouts and eyes whose expressions range from puzzlement to consternation. A consultation with the local wise beetle produces an answer: “Maybe... he just wanted to make new friends.” But when they return, the pig has moved on. Silly animals that don’t know what to do are a perennial favorite, and Bernatene has an instinctive sense for visual comedy, as when the pig realizes that things aren’t going according to plan with the tiniest twitch of a porcine eyebrow. Sometimes, Folgueira reminds readers, the wisdom of the crowd is actually foolishness. Ages 3–6. (Mar.)