cover image Pigs Love Potatoes

Pigs Love Potatoes

Anika Denise, , illus. by Christopher Denise. . Philomel, $15.99 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-399-24036-2

When one of her little piggies wants potatoes, Mamma is willing to oblige in this husband and wife collaboration, a debut for the author. Two other siblings and then Pappa arrive on the scene requesting potatoes as well, so Mamma enlists them as peelers (the piggy children use the detritus to create a wig of potato peelings for their very patient father). Then three friends drop by, so Mamma increases the number of potatoes to nine, adding “one for good measure/Splash! / In goes number ten!” Children may have trouble keeping track of whether they ought to be counting pigs or potatoes, but ultimately it doesn't matter much: Christopher Denise's (The Wishing of Biddy Malone ) acrylic and charcoal pictures are the main draw here. With soft, smudged colors and a keen, loving eye for domestic detail, the illustrator makes readers feel instantly at home in this porcine household. He has a gift for communicating the smallest gesture or subtlest emotional nuance, whether it's the thoughtful way Mamma regards a recipe or her boiling pot or the impish flip of a piggy hand as it sends a potato peel flying into the air. Even after youngsters are adept at counting to 10, they'll find much to cherish here. Ages 2-up. (June)