________________ CM . . . . Volume XI Number 9 . . . .January 7, 2005


The Wonderful Pigs of Jillian Jiggs.

Phoebe Gilman.
Markham, ON: Scholastic Canada, 1988/2004.
40 pp., pbk., $6.99.
ISBN 0-439-96186-6.

Subject Heading:
Stuffed animals (Toys)-Juvenile fiction.

Preschool-grade 3 / Ages 4-8.

Review by Liz Greenaway.

**** /4



Jillian, Jillian, Jillian Jiggs,
Maker of wonderful, marvelous pigs!

Ten cents a pig, not one penny more.
They're waiting for you at Jillian's store."

They came to buy pigs. They came by the dozens.
Brothers and sisters, best friends and cousins.

Was Jillian happy?

Now here's a sad tale.
How could she put all her pigs up for sale?

"Oh, no, not Marlene! She's so cute and so cuddly.
And not my Clarissa or Rosie or Dudley.

I can't give up Marvin, he'd miss his friend Thomas.
I'll never sell him, I gave him my promise.

No, no, not McTavish, I can't let him go.
And Blackberry Billy would miss me, you know.

I can't sell poor Gregory, he has the flu.
He should stay in bed for the next day or two.

I simply can't do it. it's over. I'm through..."

Then all of a sudden she knew what to do.


Jillian Jiggs returns in The Wonderful Pigs of Jillian Jiggs as exuberant and headstrong as ever. While her room in the first book looked as if it had been lived in by pigs, Jillian has cleaned up, and her mother says ecstatically, "Can this really be Jillian's room that I'm in?" However, the next activity is never far away with Jillian. Looking for her jar of buttons, she asks her little sister, "Don't they look just like the noses of pigs?"

internal art     In what may be her most endearing quality, nothing is ever done in a small way by Jillian Jiggs. In this instance, she decides not only that they will make pigs and set up a store, but that "we'll make lots of money, we'll be billionaires! Then Mother can rest and forget all her cares."

     The pigs created are given names and personalities and wardrobes. Phoebe Gilman's warm detailed illustrations make it easy to see how these books became Canadian classics so quickly and have such lasting appeal. Half the fun in the first reading (and there will be many) comes in identifying the pigs as you deduce which is George with the girlfriend and who is Miranda with the red cheeks and long, dark eyelashes.

     When the time comes to sell the pigs, Jillian realizes that she can't part with any of her creations, but she soon comes up with a solution: she will teach other kids how to make pigs. "Instructions for making a "wonderful pig" follow at the end of the book in clear simple instructions with tips on how to come up with all the variations and characters found in the book.

     A strong likable heroine and wonderful illustrations have made this a favourite with children and adults for over 15 years. A perfect addition to any home or school libraries.

Highly Recommended.

Liz Greenaway, of Edmonton, AB, has worked in bookselling and children's publishing.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

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