cover image The Prince and the Porker

The Prince and the Porker

Peter Bently, illus. by David Roberts. Abrams, $16.95 (32p) ISBN 978-1-4197-2312-4

One morning, a pig named Pignatius eats 10 buns he finds cooling outside the palace, dips inside to explore, then flees the outraged cook: “The bedroom was splendid. The pig was impressed./ He chuckled, ‘There’s even a dressing-up chest!’ ” When Pignatius dons the blue satin suit and frizzy red wig he finds stored there, he looks enough like the palace’s prince to fool the staff: “The cook is mistaken, it’s quite clear to see./ Now what does Your Highness desire for his tea?” Between the time that Pignatius discovers that he can pass for the prince and the moment the real prince returns, Pignatius enjoys himself thoroughly, eating whatever he likes and ordering the palace soldiers about. Unlike other trading-places fables, neither the prince nor Pignatius is especially virtuous, a fact mirrored in Roberts’s (Ada Twist, Scientist) sly visual parallel between the piggy prince and the princely pig. Bently’s (Captain Jack and the Pirates) cheeky verse never stumbles, and Roberts has rousing fun with classic set pieces: trays of treats, palace luxury, angry servants, and straight-faced guards. Delectable, mischievous fun. Ages 5–7. (Mar.)