cover image Tom's Tail

Tom's Tail

Linda Jennings. Little Brown and Company, $14.95 (1pp) ISBN 978-0-316-13341-8

Jennings (The Dog Who Found Christmas) and debut illustrator Warnes create a barnyard's worth of likable characters in this unassuming but pleasant lesson in self-acceptance. The titular Tom, a pink piglet, dislikes his ``curly-twirly'' tail and would prefer a ``plumy tail'' like Sam the sheepdog or a ``long, swishy tail'' like Hannibal the horse. Tom's farm-animal friends tug his tail and ultimately cake it with mud to keep it stiff and straight. But Tom accidentally pokes his pals painfully with his now-pointy tail; when rain washes him clean, he admits he's better off with his original equipment. Warnes depicts Tom's adventures in opaque hues on fibrous beige or baby-blue stock. Although his illustrations are conventional, expressive brushstrokes infuse them with a sunny freshness. Ages 4-8. (Apr.)