cover image Ten Moonstruck Piglets

Ten Moonstruck Piglets

Lindsay Lee Johnson, illus. by Carll Cneut, Clarion, $16.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-618-86866-7

Johnson's (Hurricane Henrietta) concept holds promise—10 piglets tear out of the house at midnight and go romping all over the countryside—but the short lines of her verse don't allow her (or the piglets) much room to play. "When the full moon blooms bright/ and fills up the night,/ curious piglets/ are dazed by the sight." The piglets enjoy themselves ("They frisk and whirl!/ They caper and twirl!") but their fun comes to a quick end when Mama comes to save them after they get lost. The ending deflates rapidly: "Too soon the sun glows./ Too soon the cock crows./ Still moon-weary piglets/ roll over and doze." Cneut's (City Lullaby) acrylic artwork supplies the missing magic; it's as if a modern-day Jan van Eyck painted the piglets, who are stately, complex, dignified; they cavort thoughtfully, snouts wrinkled and eyebrows furrowed. The inky night into which they venture is as blue as the ocean, and the piglets—clad in nightgowns, striped shirts, and trousers—appear to float, entranced, through the night air. Ages 3–7. (Apr.)