cover image Woody


Nicholas Heller. Greenwillow Books, $14 (1pp) ISBN 978-0-688-12804-3

``I'm bored,'' announces Woody, a young pig who sports overalls and a red-and-white checked shirt. So his mother sends him outdoors to find something to do. Sitting in a field, he blows on a dandelion puff while muttering, ``I wish I were doing something really exciting.'' Immediately, Woody is high in the air, plummeting headfirst toward the ground . . . until a parachute on his back opens. Having liked this taste of adventure, the plucky pig blows on yet another puff, this time wishing that he were a football player. When he is tackled by a trio of much larger rhino players, Woody reaches for a dandelion growing on the field--just in the nick of time. Similarly advantageously placed dandelions save him from calamity in two additional identities: a knight in armor challenged to a joust and a sea captain captured by pirates. Heller's ( Mathilda the Dream Bear ; The Monster in the Cave ) chipper narrative and comical, radiant watercolor and black-pen art will endear his porcine hero to youngsters. Easy-to-manage sentences and a large typeface make this a good pick for beginning readers. Ages 3-up. (May)