Sunday, December 30, 2018

Picture Book Review: Pig the Pug/ Fibber by Aaron Blabey

Pig the Pug Fibber by Aaron Blabey. unpgd. Scholastic Press/ Scholastic Inc., August, 2018. 9781338291766. (Review from finished copy courtesy of publisher.)

Pig and Trevor are back and Pig is as obnoxious as ever. Perhaps more so since he is now a liar. The last time I visited with Pig, he was a cheater. It's a hop, skip and a jump to liar. And, poor Trevor continues to take the fall. 

The art is the star here. Pig is so expressive and Trevor is so clueless it hurts. The rhyme scheme mostly works. Practice it before reading aloud. Your young readers will be tickled. 

A long, long time ago, Mo Willems keynoted at Bookfest at the New York Public Library. During the Q & A after his hilarious talk about Pigeon, Mo referred to Pigeon as a dickhead. Of course, the crowd went wild. But that statement stuck and, from time to time, I revisit it. 

Who are the "dickheads" of children's literature? Bad Kitty comes to mind, as does Rotten Ralph. Pig fills the bill. While there's a certain predictability about most of the story arcs, they never get old. Why? Because we get to act out our inner dickheadedness through them. Pigeon does his best to wheedle, demand, and cajole until he loses his shit and tantrums. Pigeon books were such satisfying read alouds for me - to be able to channel my inner Pigeon, and for my students - to know what's coming and delight in it. Were I still a K - 8 librarian, Pig would be my new favorite. 

Censors might complain that books with characters such as these encourage misbehavior. I disagree. I love them all with all my heart and look forward to more of Pig's antics. 

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