cover image Plain Pig's ABC's

Plain Pig's ABC's

Phyllis Pellman Good, Phillis Pellman Good. Good Books, $14.95 (0pp) ISBN 978-1-56148-251-1

The items in this Amish alphabet--from apron and buggy to yarn and zucchini--get overshadowed by the busy presence of Plain Pig, who ""may be plain, just like the Amish. But Plain Pig finds fun."" She engages in farm activities like ""grinning through the barnyard fence,"" ""carrying on with the kittens"" and ""wrestling with the vegetables."" The many verbs sometimes repeat the featured letter, but not consistently. Sometimes the new sounds are confusing, as in ""nestling next to the picnic table"" for the letter ""T."" Benner's (who previously collaborated with Good for Amish Cooking for Kids) artwork has a somewhat sentimental style that occasionally sacrifices perspective (e.g., Plain Pig is as big as a large snowman in one picture, but only slightly larger than a zucchini in another). The efforts of author and illustrator to convince readers that ""plain"" isn't incompatible with fun result in a picture book that's a tad precious and less than lucid as an introduction to the alphabet. Ages 3-6. (Sept.)