cover image WISH, CHANGE, FRIEND


Ian Whybrow, , illus. by Tiphanie Beeke. . S&S/McElderry, $16 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-689-84930-5

Porcine and winged bibliophiles star in Whybrow's (Little Wolf's Book of Badness) quirky tale of discovery and friendship. Little Pig comes across three new words in a book: wish, change and friend. He wishes for a change and a friend and gets both when it snows and he makes a snowman. The two venture north, where a book-loving, igloo-inhabiting penguin asks them the meaning of pig and together, which Little Pig and his frosty companion ably describe. The wispy watercolor forms of the trio move across soft pastel landscapes and end up back at Little Pig's oak tree home, where they set up a "Friends Together Shop." In Beeke's (Book! Book! Book!) winsome artwork, several quaintly drawn animals, hedgehog and seal included, read and make snowmen together at the shop. When discussing which word they like best, Penguin chooses together, because "That one lasts the longest." Here the use of the new vocabulary becomes a bit forced: " 'I like that one best, too,' said Little Pig and his snow friend, together." The power of books and friends to change lives is more effectively demonstrated through Beeke's charming illustrations, whose backgrounds convey the characters' diverse moods, from loneliness to contentment. Ages 4-8. (Jan.)