cover image Mrs. Owl and Mr. Pig

Mrs. Owl and Mr. Pig

Jan Wahl. Dutton Books, $13.95 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-525-67311-8

The prolific and popular Wahl ( Humphrey's Bear ) adds yet another winner to his impressive oeuvre. Lonely and practically penniless--she has three cents left in her money box--wise Mrs. Owl decides to take in a boarder. (``ROOM AND BOARD. REASONABLE RATES. PLEASE WIPE FEET!'') Along comes Mr. Pig, who rents her vacant room. After the two shake hoof and wing, she makes him a large omelet. He gobbles it down--``not bad for a start!''--and immediately falls asleep in his empty plate. Next thing she knows, Mrs. Owl's cottage is ``wing-high in popcorn,'' as her less-than-ideal boarder makes a pig of himself once again. More amusing mischief follows, until Mrs. Owl decides she has endured quite enough. A droll conclusion shows that, unlike leopards, some porkers can change their spots. Young readers will be as delighted by Mr. Pig's shenanigans as his landlady is irritated by them. They'll also find lots to chuckle at in Christelow's ( Robbery at the Diamond Dog Diner ; The Completed Hickory Dickory Dock ) pictures, which comically depict an increasingly vexed Mrs. Owl. Ages 5-8. (May)