cover image Pig and Crow

Pig and Crow

Kay Chorao. Henry Holt & Company, $16.95 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-8050-5863-5

Chorao's (Little Farm by the Sea) quaint domestic drama centers on a lonely pig who bakes to lift his spirits and ultimately finds solace in nature. Whenever crafty Crow smells one of Pig's freshly made desserts, he swoops down and offers to trade something ""magic"" for the confection, promising that it will cure Pig's loneliness. Each time, Pig is disappointed (""magic seeds"" turn out to be ""only pumpkins. They are not magic""; a ""magic worm"" metamorphoses into a butterfly that flies away). But with every disappointment, Pig also discovers something important (e.g., the value of hard work and patience) so that when Crow finally offers him a ""magic egg,"" Pig knows how to care for it. The egg hatches into a Canada goose, who becomes his soulmate. Chorao's illustrations brim with activity and reveal a range of expressions (Pig's sadness as he watches his butterfly escape into the sky; his dedication when he awakens in the middle of the night to feed the hungry gosling, nestled in a miniature, straw-filled cradle). The lessons Pig learns about the wonder of nature are just as likely to rub off on youngsters. Ages 4-7. (May)