cover image Pigs in the Mud in the Middle of the Rud

Pigs in the Mud in the Middle of the Rud

Lynn Plourde. Scholastic, $16.95 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-590-56863-0

First-time author Plourde commands attention with this winsomely silly, trippingly rhymed tale. When some indolent pigs block the road (or ""rud,"" as pronounced in Plourde's native Maine), they halt the progress of a family's Model T. In an initial attempt to clear the road hogs, Brother ""shooed./ And he squealed./ And he rutted./ And he reeled./ But the pigs didn't budge./ Not a tiny little smudge."" Hens, sheep and bulls join the fracas, with each family member failing to shoo the animals. Finally, Grandma realizes, ""OOOOO-EEE! Up to me,"" and, ""with her hands on her hips,/ and a snarl on her lips/ ... yelled `Time for Sup!' "" and the animals scatter. While Plourde laces her clever rhymes with funny, nonsensical words (such as ""shmuffle"" and ""smarge""), Caldecott Medalist Schoenherr (Owl Moon) departs a bit from the resoundingly naturalistic style of his previous work to offer up deadpan watercolors of hapless humans and luxuriating animals. An attractive design silhouettes these figures against plenty of clean white space, in the process creating a visual syncopation between the art and the text. Punchy and full of verve, this is one story kids will want to hear many times over. Ages 3-7. (Mar.)