cover image Pigsty


Mark Teague. Scholastic Press, $15.95 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-590-45915-0

Teague ( The Trouble with the Johnsons ; The Field Beyond the Outfield ) is once again right on target, this time skewering a subject dear to families everywhere with his idiosyncratic brand of sly humor. When his mother pronounces his room a ``pigsty'' and sends him upstairs to clean it, Wendell Fultz finds a large pig lounging on the bed (unmade, naturally). Unfazed, the feckless Wendell simply rearranges the mess and joins in the merriment. His mother gives up, and for the next week, Wendell cohabits happily (and untidily) with his newfound friend--and yet another porcine companion follows close on his hooves. But when a second pair of pigs shows up and the four of them start ruining Wendell's toys, even he has to admit that the mess is getting to be too much. Much of the tale's fun resides in Teague's quirky acrylic art (the first word of the text, for example, features a dropped capital ``M'' fashioned from dirty socks). Whether Wendell and his friends are jumping on the bed or playing Monopoly on the rug, their antics are rendered in the bold palette of a gleefully inventive imagination. Highly recommended for neat-freaks and mess-makers alike. Ages 6-9. (Sept.)