Pig Pig Returns
David McPhail, author & illustrator
David McPhail is the acclaimed author and illustrator of more than one hundred and fifty books for children. He studied at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston and published his first book in 1972.
Read more about David.
- Bank Street College of Education's Best Children's Books of the Year
Pig Pig, a perfect Everychild, is uncertain about cross-country travel with his aunt and uncle. Though billed as "the Opportunity of a Lifetime," the ride begins with literal and figurative bumps in the road. But then...Pig Pig visits a house made of soda cans and sits on a stone elephant. Fun! When it's time to go home, he is kind of sad, quite excited, but also worried no one will remember him--until Mama opens the door. The line-and-watercolor art is drawn with sweetness and humor. Many kids (and adults) will see their mixed feelings about travel here.
The clever title reveals two meanings: First, that a classic character stars in a new book for the first time in decades; second, that this story is likely to end in a satisfying return home.
Pig Pig, a favorite from Pig Pig Grows Up (1980), Pig Pig Rides (1982), etc., is about to take a cross-country trip with his aunt and uncle, but without his mother (and cat, Fluffy). The young porker experiences worries common to young children: separation anxiety and fear of the unfamiliar. At first, Pig Pig "was concerned that his mother and Fluffy would miss him too much." As they get under way, it's true that things don't always go as planned; for example, the view from the top of a mountain is completely fogged in. But Pig Pig soon forgets his fears; his adventures include visiting a house made of soda cans, a boulder in the shape of an elephant and more. He's having so much fun that there's nothing to be anxious about--except returning home. As in previous Pig Pig stories, McPhail accurately and humanely addresses a universal concern. The pale watercolor illustrations outlined in scratchy, thin black line suit the gentle, reassuring story.
Many kids, like Pig Pig, thrive on routine; reading this over and over is likely to become part of many young readers' routines.
Pig Pig reluctantly goes on vacation with his aunt and uncle, afraid his mother and cat will miss him. But he has fun on the road trip visiting a house made out of soda cans, a giant ball of yarn, and a three-legged chicken. Toddlers and preschoolers can identify with Pig Pig - his concerns and the simple plots of this series have a universal simplicity that is well suited to storytime. The watercolor and ink outline illustrations, with lots of white background, carry well and also work one-on-one, adding some wry humor. Although Pig Pig's adventure is not overly memorable, it is a solid vacation story that can reassure some younger children about to take their first trip away from their parents. Add to your collection if the previous Pig Pig books are popular, such as Pig Pig and the Magic Photo Album (1986) or Pig Pig Goes to Camp (1983).
School Library Journal
In his latest adventure, Pig Pig is invited to travel in a camper across the country with his aunt and uncle. He is not thrilled about this idea and would rather stay home with his mom and his cat, Fluffy. After some persuasion, he decides to go and actually has a lot of unexpected fun. The travelers see thinks like mountains, hot springs, boulders shaped like elephants, and even a three-legged chicken. In the end, Pig Pig has a great time but worries that Fluffy has forgotten him and that his mom hasn't missed him. He's about to break into tears when he's welcomed home with open arms. The watercolor illustrations are playful and bright. The pigs all dressed up to look like humans add humor. This is a perfect read-aloud and would fit into any summertime or vacation theme. It also would be ideal to share with youngsters who are struggling with the idea of being away from home.
ISBN: 978-1-60734-311-0 PDF
Page count: 32
8 x 10