cover image PORKENSTEIN


Kathryn Lasky, , illus. by David Jarvis. . Scholastic/Blue Sky, $15.95 (40pp) ISBN 978-0-590-62380-3

The famous inventor Dr. Smart Pig, a lonesome survivor of the Big Bad Wolf, wants an inedible porcine companion with whom to spend Halloween. After mistakenly producing a pig-headed fish and curly-tailed bat, he creates a gigantic, voracious pink hog. When the Wolf comes trick-or-treating in an old-lady costume, Porkenstein answers the door. After a Little Red Riding Hood–style exchange, "suddenly there was a scuffling sound—followed by a huge gulp and a rumbling belch. Then silence." Lasky's (Lunch Bunnies) satire is not as sharp as Tim Egan's in The Experiments of Dr. Vermin (reviewed below), but Jarvis, in his children's debut, lards his exaggerated compositions with witty visual jokes. Ages 3-up. (Sept.)