Monday, December 3, 2012

Pigs in bad sweaters

Thinking about pigs- in kids books that is. I was prompted to think about pigs when a blog posting brought them to my attention. Pen and Oink is having a contest: just name your favorite pig character and you could win a copy of Maurice Sendak's Bumble-Ardy. I hadn't given it too much thought, but when you think about it, pigs are everywhere in kids books.

In my brain library, I thought of Pig Will and Pig Won't (Richard Scarry), Wilbur of Charlotte's Web (EB White/Garth Williams), Babe: The Gallant Pig (Dick King Smith/Mary Rayner), Poppleton (Cynthia Rylant/Mark Teague), Toot and Puddle (Holly Hobbie), and Wibbly Pig (Mike Inkpen). Then there's the more recent, Olivia (Ian Falconer) and Piggie books (Mo Willems). But one of my favorite's is Benny (Barbro Lindgren & illustrator Olof Landstrom). In Benny's Had Enough the pig's expressions are priceless and the little stuffie he carries around is beyond repair. This is the second time (at least) that I've gone crazy over a Swedish character. The first was Boodil from Boodil My Dog. Which makes me realize that I'll need to devote an entire post to Swedish authors/illustrators someday soon.

One of my daughters says there's also a new (to U.S.) show on Nick Jr. featuring a pig family: Peppa Pig. Very much in the vein of Maisy by Lucy Cousins (also a UK import).

Then there's my own strange pig doodles
that always seem to wind up in bad sweaters:

Pigs are a great resource for showing emotion. Some animals seem to be easier to anthropomorphize (say that fast 10x) than others. Try putting a cute face on a naked mole rat and you'll see what I mean.

Oh, wait.... someone did. Hah!


  1. Hi Cindy,
    Just discovered your blog... excellent info here.
    Look forward to adding it to my Blogs that I read.

  2. Thanks Walter. I've been enjoying the process so far. You remind me that today is my posting day....yikes, better get to it!