cover image Squiggle's Tale

Squiggle's Tale

Chronicle Books, Andre Dehan, Andre Dahan. Chronicle Books, $14.95 (40pp) ISBN 978-0-8118-2664-8

Dahan's deliciously glib text belies antic illustrations as three little pigs break the rules of a public park in Paris. Their improprieties come to light via Squiggle the piglet's enthusiastic letter to his parents back home. At the Luxembourg Gardens, Squiggle reports, he and his two Parisian porcine cousins find a columnar statue. ""We stood on our tippy toes to get a better look,"" he writes. The images tell a much different story: Squiggle and his cousins scale the column while a gendarme toots his whistle. In other examples, Squiggle and his cousins ""help rake leaves"" (jump in a pile of leaves a park official has raked) and take a ""nice, quiet stroll"" (ride on a skateboard pulled by a girl on roller skates); he even picks the flowers (quel horreur!). In addition to the wry humor, Dahan's watercolors evoke the work of Bonnard or Vuillard as they portray a bygone era when men wore suits to play cards on a park bench and girls wore dresses and straw hats to practice with Hula Hoops. A carefully applied stroke of color here or there creates motion amid pristine white flower urns and balustrades, and that Parisian skyline will have Francophiles longing for a trip across the Atlantic. Ages 4-8. (Mar.)