cover image Spiffen, a Tale of a Tidy Pig

Spiffen, a Tale of a Tidy Pig

Mary Ada Schwartz. Albert Whitman & Company, $13.95 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-8075-7580-2

Imagine being a fastidious pig in a town called Slobbyville, where King Hog's visit means preparations that include the scattering of trash and the dumping of pungent garbage. Spiffen is a pig who sweeps and cleans and tidies to the beat of a different drummer, forced to stay inside when King Hog comes to town. The stench of the garbage awakens a dragon, and it is Spiffen's bucket of suds that douses the beast's fiery breath. Spiffen is, of course, a hero. A dilemma that is undoubtedly predictable, Spiffen's woeful tale will find favor with beginning readers. Munsinger's illustrations, which place this in a village of stucco and beam homes, give this silly situation extra zip. Spiffen looks continually bewildered by the reactions of others to his habits; he wears a sort of ``Who, me?'' gaze that lets everyone know that this pig is no goofhe is simply being true to himself. Ages 3-8. (August)