cover image That Extraordinary Pig

That Extraordinary Pig

Roni Schotter. Philomel Books, $14.95 (1pp) ISBN 978-0-399-22023-4

Schotter's tongue-in-cheek, er, make that tongue-in-jowl, tale of a less-than-prudent pig whose appetite nearly lands him in the sausage section will be of particular delight to Francophiles. The author clearly adores the culture (especially the edible portion of it) and takes particular glee in assigning her characters names with double entendres. Unable to resist the temptation of Mademoiselle Le Sucre's delicious pastries, Monsieur Cochon visits her bakery, which is perilously close to the charcuterie, and falls into the clutches of the evil butchers, Monsieur Decouper and Henri La Faim. Fortunately, he's not fated for the plate--instead, he's rescued by a veritable army of furred and feathered friends. Though at times it nearly lapses into a treatise on the virtues of vegetarianism, Schotter's tale remains a pleasing romp. Catalano's colored-pencil sketches are full of slyly humorous detail, from the portrait of Maman pig hanging on the porcine hero's wall to his very proper attire--trotter spats and the de rigueur beret. Voila! Fun for all. Ages 4-8. (May)