We at Pen & Oink are fortunate to have the pig as our mascot, because let’s face it, children’s literature abounds with pigs. Wilbur. Olivia. Mercy Watson.
So, to celebrate our launch, we’re giving out a copy of a great pig book, Maurice Sendak’s Bumble-Ardy. Which piggie books do you love? Post an answer in the comments (please, don’t let’s all say Charlotte’s Web), and we’ll pick a winner at random! Deadline: this Thursday night, 8:00 pm, EST.
Here are some of our favorites!
One of my all time favorite books is The Amazing Bone by William Steig, so it was easy to pick as a favorite pig book. He is just incredible and leaves me speechless. It’s as if someone dared him to write the weirdest creepiest thing he could think of and make it loveable. A bone that talks? The ladylike illustrations of Pearl the pig protagonist in happy blossoming backgrounds helps balance out the creep factor. Amazing!
My other favorite pig book is Oink Oink, Benny by Barbro Lindgren, is illustrated by one of my all time favorite illustrators: Olof Landström. Lindgen’s witty story takes us through Benny and his little brother disobeying their mother’s orders to stay away from the mud hole. I love the range of pigs friends they meet at the mud hole and the funny fact that there is a dog present among the pig-only crew. Landström’s illustrations are always so crisp and comical.
I also love the fact that the book is dark and weird. There are three full-page spreads of escalating mega-party in the middle of the book that are a total feast for the eyes. And Aunt Adeline goes ballistic in the end and practically transforms into a monster!
More on Bumble-Ardy from Maurice himself here:
I think my favorite pig book is We Are In A Book! by Mo Willems, which is about two friends, Gerald and Piggie, who, well, discover they’re in a book. I’m a big fan of metafictional picture books when they’re done right. But the thing that really knocks my socks off is Gerald’s hilarious yet profound existential crisis: “The book ends?!”
Another favorite is Arnold Lobel’s Small Pig. A small pig, much loved by the farmer and his wife, runs away to the city after the farmer’s wife overzealously cleans away his mud puddle. (Apparently women were still really enthusiastic about housework in the late sixties, when this book was published.)
It’s classic children’s book comedy, complete with Lobel’s deadpan clarity and punctuated with loving reassurance: “We think you are the best pig in the world.”
The (preseparated!) illustrations in Small Pig are printed in a simple palette of blue and yellow. This one, to the right, is easily my favorite. Look at that face! There’s a piggie who won’t put up with a bath, no sirree.
Tell us about your favorite pig books!