cover image Pigasus


Pat Murphy, Schlein. Dial Books, $14.99 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-8037-1587-5

The old motif about a creature who is ""different"" is taken to semi-mythic proportions in this tale about high-flying Pigasus, a winged piglet. Pig Mama teaches her other children to curl their tails; she worries about Pigasus doing back-flips and loop-the-loops over the chicken coop. Pigasus's innocent self-confidence is eroded when a rude raven not only insults her triple somersault but also steals her mother's golden nose ring. The characters' names and the story's plot are clever, but Murphy's prose is flabby in spots-she tends to overstate the obvious (""Pigasus was sad. Her feelings were hurt""). Percy's (Reynard the Fox) pastel watercolor wash and colored-pencil illustrations, reproduced to show the texture of the original paper stock, do much to temper the bland characterization in the text, offering readers a sweetly naive heroine who recovers her mother's ring from pirate ruffians with aeronautical ease and a humble demeanor. Pig fanciers will love this porcine baby, and with her mother will pronounce her some ""High-flying Pig!"" Ages 4-8. (Apr.)