Book Reviews Picture Books

Pig Pig Returns by David McPhail

I like books like Pig Pig Returns that feature animals living as humans (see Oliver and Amanda Pig, Olivia, Bread and Jam for Frances, etc (this list makes it clear to me that I also apparently really like pigs. And I only thought I liked them for delicious bacon)).

But more than just an animal wearing clothing, I particularly love it when those animals have a little bit of human angst. For some reason, this just amuses me to no end (this may explain my deep love for Frances).

It also amuses me when animals have pets. But that is neither here nor there.

Anyway, the presence of an overall-wearing pig filled with worry over a road trip meant that this book was a quick new friend in our house.

Pig Pig is going on a road trip with his aunt and uncle, but he’s pretty nervous about it. Not because he’s scared, of course, but because he is worried his mom will just miss him too much. Of course.

But he is convinced to go, and after a rocky start, what with the car sickness and going to see the hot springs that shoots off every Thursday, but they arrive on a Friday. Tragic.

The text is delightfully sparse (nice for a small child and with a bit of ironic flair to it), and the illustrations are sweet, colorful, and breezy. I loved this book.

I especially giggled at the little note on the copyright page that says “A not for concerned readers: Pig Pig is of the appropriate age, height, and weight to be sitting in the front seat of an automobile. On pages 8 and 9 his safety belt is obscured by his magazine and the dashboard of the car.”

Apparently David McPhail wrote five books, a decade or two ago, about Pig Pig, and this book is a return to these characters. I’d never heard of them, but I have several on request at the library as we speak.

Copy received from publisher

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  • Reply Mad Hadder July 18, 2011 at 11:03 pm

    Go find The Pigs' Wedding by Heine. It's one of my favorites.

  • Reply Kayla July 18, 2011 at 11:14 pm

    Haha that is so awesome about the seatbelt. JUST IN CASE some kid was like, "HEY, Pigpig got to sit in front without a belt!" And their poor mother had to deal with the aftermath.

  • Reply Stefanie Hathaway July 19, 2011 at 12:31 am

    I loved all the pig pig books, and especially bread and jam for frances 🙂

  • Reply Stacy July 20, 2011 at 10:19 pm

    I'll have to look into this one.

    I LOVE the Frances books. They are so fun to read! One that I really want to acquire: 'A Bargain for Frances' which is utterly hilarious.

  • Reply Anjuli July 21, 2011 at 9:10 pm

    Two picture book recommendations: Who is Driving? by Leo Timmers and Little White Rabbit by Kevin Henkes.

  • Reply Beth November 22, 2012 at 4:19 am

    Along those same lines, I love "Ella the Elegant Elephant" by Carmela and Steve D'Amico.

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