Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Read, Read, Read, said the Baby: Pretty Princess Pig by Jane Yolen and Heidi Stemple, illustrated by Sam Williams

[Digging through the archives...]

In simple rhymes, we learn about Princess Pig who likes to dress up - and play in the dirt. She is getting ready for her big tea party and dusts, paints, cooks and decorates with obvious enjoyment. Her polite friends show up to enjoy the goodies; and despite some shocked looks, no one comments on the mess Princess Pig has made of the house - and herself!

Sam Williams, who also illustrated a previous board book with Jane Yolen, Good Night Little Bunny, shows a rotund little pig who attacks her tasks with vim and vigor and is gaily unaware of the truly spectacular mess she is creating. The cover is strongly pink with spots of glitter, but the interior has an equal amount of yellow and orange blending with the pink.

The story is light and humorous and would be enjoyed by kids who will giggle over the mess and enjoy the contrast between Princess Pig's crown and flowery dress and her natural pig behavior. The format of the book is the main problem for me. It has the padded cover sometimes seen on board books and stiffened, thick pages; however, it's not quite a board book while still being smaller than the average picture book. The final page has a die cut fold out that says "I will fall apart" to me. Our processor could reinforce the fold, but not the shaped edges.

Verdict: This is a cute if unsubstantial book. I would go for Karen Katz' Princess Baby series if you're looking for princess board books or Jane Yolen's Not all princesses dress in pink if you're looking for active princess picture books. The format on this makes it a better present for a friend or child than circulating library book.

[Revisited: This book is still in print and I ended up adding it to the library, but I hold by my verdict - it just won't stand up to library usage. Before it was checked out and never returned, it was not in good shape. It is adorable and would make a good present though.]

ISBN: 978-1-4424-0833-3; Published May 2011 by Simon & Schuster; Review copy provided by publisher through Raab Associates; Donated to the library

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