cover image Baxter, the Pig Who Wanted to Be Kosher

Baxter, the Pig Who Wanted to Be Kosher

Laurel Snyder, illus. by David Goldin, Random/Tricycle, $15.99 (32p) ISBN 978-1-58246-315-5

When an old Jewish man at a bus stop extols the joys of Shabbat and its traditional dinner, Baxter becomes a pig possessed. All he can think about is how "the candles gleam and glow and dance while our sweetest voices lift in song!" But then Baxter learns that being part of the Shabbat dinner has an entry requirement: you have to be something called "kosher." Stuffing himself with kosher pickles and challah bread, as well as trying his hand at being a cow ("He acquired a handy set of horns. He cultivated a taste for clover"), are a few of the ways Baxter futilely attempts to achieve that goal. Snyder (Inside the Slidy Diner) and Goldin (Go-Go-Go!) go together like matzo balls and chicken soup: the bright, daffy prose and ebulliently goofy cartoon and photo collages will persuade readers that they don't have to be Jewish to enjoy Baxter's spiritual journey—which ends, happily enough, at the Shabbat table of a kindly rabbi. Yes, of course he's a guest. What did you think? Ages 4–8. (Aug.)