cover image Aunt Pitty Patty's Piggy

Aunt Pitty Patty's Piggy

Jim Aylesworth. Scholastic, $15.95 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-590-89987-1

Fresh from The Gingerbread Man, Aylesworth and McClintock offer a similarly energetic, folksy retelling of a sequential tale about a stubborn pig who refuses to pass through a gate to enter the yard of its new owner. Rendered in brown pencil and watercolors, McClintock's earth-toned art conjures a rural 19th-century setting, replete with charming period particulars. The text's repetition and rhythm virtually command readers to chime in, as the determined heroine, Nelly, tries to enlist the aid of a number of initially uncooperative animals and inanimate objects: ""Stick, stick, come hit dog. Dog won't bite Aunt Pitty Patty's piggy. It's gettin' late, and piggy's by the gate sayin', `No, no, no, I will not go!' "" Nelly's resolve pays off in an ending propelled by an amusing chain reaction. McClintock's pictures contain spirited details--e.g., a butcher, complying with Nelly's request that he scare an ox, chases the animal while carrying a picture of a steak; and the title character, persuaded at last to enter the yard, licks his chops hopefully as he stares in through the window at a supper shared by his mistress, her farmer suitor and Nelly. A recipe for corn bread appears, invitingly if irrelevantly, on the back of the book jacket. Narrative and art pull equal weight in this cheerful reworking. Ages 3-7. (Sept.)