cover image LITTLE FLOWER


Gloria Rand, , illus. by R.W. Alley. . Holt, $16.95 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-8050-6480-3

A porcine pet named Little Flower becomes a big hero in this upbeat and poignant tale inspired by a real-life incident. Miss Pearl adores her talented and amiable potbellied pig, Little Flower. Even most of the neighbors are impressed when the pig masters the old trick "play dead." But Little Flower's penchant for keeling over saves the day when Miss Pearl falls inside her home and can't get up. The pig plays dead in the middle of the road until a driver stops and follows her up to Miss Pearl's house. Rand's (A Home for Spooky) straightforward text contains flashes of both humor and drama. As the action unfolds, young readers will instantly root for the determined and devoted Little Flower (and probably be amazed by her efforts). Alley's kicky ink-and-watercolor artwork captures the warmth of the bond between a proud pet owner and her beloved porcine companion. Lots of homey details—kitschy soap dispensers, reading glasses, tea cups, a white picket fence and closely cropped lawns—give Miss Pearl's place a cozy, lived-in look and make the neighborhood seem like a genuinely friendly place. Ages 4-7. (Apr.)