cover image Pigs Dig a Road

Pigs Dig a Road

Carrie Finison, illus. by Brian Biggs. Putnam, $19.99 (48p) ISBN 978-1-984816-54-2

Diligent construction pig Rosie has conceived of an ambitious project: building a new road to connect her anthropomorphized animal community “from here to there,/ to reach the Hamshire County Fair,” writes Finison (Dozens of Doughnuts). Unfortunately, Rosie’s porcine crew, consisting of Curly, Pinky, and Stinky, is as chaotic as it is enthusiastic. Digital cartoon vignettes by Biggs (How to Bake a Universe) chronicle a cascade of comic mishaps as the trio attempts to map, dig, and lay asphalt to Rosie’s specification. Rosie must redo all the work herself—already weary from pulling an all-night planning session, she falls into a deep sleep right on the job. But Pinky saves the crew, and the road, by stepping up with a solid “Teamwork Plan” that motivates the pigs to divide tasks, labor diligently, help one another, and check their work. Just as they finish placing the final sign, a rejuvenated Rosie returns and praises their efforts: “You figured out just what to do,/ and did it well. I’m proud of you!” For collaboration and construction enthusiasts, this work about leading through empowering others (even unintentionally) underlines the capacity for anyone—or any pig—to steer. Ages 3–7. Author’s agent: Linda Epstein, Emerald City Literary. Illustrator’s agent: Steven Malk, Writers House. (Sept.)