cover image Pig, Pigger, Piggest

Pig, Pigger, Piggest

Rick Walton. Gibbs Smith Publishers, $15.95 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-87905-806-7

In this unremarkable but good-humored rewriting of ""The Three Little Pigs,"" three big pigs--Pig, Pigger and Piggest--build correspondingly large castles, all of which are reduced to mudholes when each pig refuses to hand it over to the corresponding Witch, Witcher and Witchest who demands it. In the pat ending, the porcine brothers, delighted with their mudholes, propose marriage to the witches and promise to rebuild. Pictorial details continue the comparative rhetoric, boasting ""cheap sheep"" and ""cheapest sheepest,"" etc. (each more absurdly broad than the last). Debut children's book illustrator Holder plays along with a jaunty, caricatured style. His slightly shiny, rotund pigs--and similarly bulging bats, clouds and suits of armor--give the impression of having been inflated to the point of bursting. While Walton's (You Don't Always Get What You Hope For) playful progressive comparisons are enjoyably goofy (e.g., Pigger builds a ""taller-waller, thicker-bricker castle"" than Pig's tall-wall, thick-brick castle""), they don't quite sustain a narrative and grow monotonous, as nearly all refer to size. Perhaps not the funniest, it's funnier than many; and definitely a funny book. Ages 4-8. (Sept.)