CM . . . . Volume XVIII Number 34 . . . . May 4, 2012
Can friends fight and still be friends? This is the central question that is asked and answered in Ruth Ohi's delightful book, Chicken, Pig, Cow's First Fight. Chicken decided that the city made of blocks needed a chicken statue made out of feathers and leaves. Pig was a little careless and knocked the chicken statue down. His attempts at fixing the statue only resulted in the rest of the city getting knocked down, too. Pig went off in a huff, and it was up to Chicken, Cow, and the hapless dog to restore order before "Girl" returned. Part way through the rebuilding, Pig returned to apologize for being a bad pig. The key line in the book is the moment of forgiveness when Cow explains, "You're not a bad pig. You're a good friend who was in a bad, bad mood".
Ruth Ohi's book reminded me of the Toy Story franchise, in that Pig, Cow, and Chicken appear to be inanimate toys when "Girl" is around, only to come alive when she leaves the room. The story explores the themes of friendship and forgiveness and makes the distinction between being a bad person and a good person who is just having a bad day. I discovered that this is just one of many books written about Chicken, Pig and Cow, and I would be interested to see how she handles other challenges with these cute characters.
I noticed that the stories have been optioned for television, and so there is a good chance we will be seeing much more of Pig, Cow and Chicken in the near future, and that's a good thing. Ohi's soft watercolour illustrations are full of life and energy and are an integral part of the story telling.
Trevor Lockhart is a public librarian in Winnipeg, MB.
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