Gruntle Piggle Takes Off.
Jean Little. Illustrated by Johnny Wales.
Kindergarten - grade 3 / Ages 5 - 8.
Gruntle Piggle Takes Off is a bright over-sized picture book that is a delight to the eyes. Illustrator Johnny Wales states "that if something is worth doing weIl, it's worth having fun" and indeed his illustrations for this book are enchanting.
The story, too, is wonderful; author Jean Little and Wales are the perfect combination to tell the story of Gruntle Piggle's quest to find out how real pigs live.
It all begins when Grandpa Bacon sends a gift of rollerblades to Gruntle and sets off a whole series of events. Gruntle and her family live in Pigs' Digs a high-rent high-rise complex in Pigopolis (which appears to share much of Toronto's skyline). Frances Bacon Piggle is upset that her country-dwelling father might be a bad influence on Gruntle and she refuses to allow Gruntle to thank her Grandfather for the rollerblades he has sent. While pouting in her room Gruntle reads every pig book there is.
"Pigs in books aren't like us," she says innocently. "Why do we live in the city? Why am I an only piglet?"
Not satisfied with her parents' answers Gruntle decides to run away and find out for herself; she decides to visit Grandpa Bacon at Swine Corners. Life on a farm comes as a shock to this city-bred piglet. The warmhearted story is a cheery twist on the country mouse/city mouse theme.
Gruntle Piggle Takes Off is sure to be a hit with the read-aloud crowd and will also be enjoyed by older children to read on their own.
Michele F. Kallio is a former teacher/librarian living in Blacks Harbour, New Brunswick.
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Copyright © 1996 the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.
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