"Like most children you have probably thought to yourself at one time or another, I bet a pig parade would be a lot of fun." After all, "pig parade" is even fun to say...but did you know that pigs hate to march? They would rather snuffle, which doesn't lend itself to parading. Pigs won't wear uniforms. Hard to say why; maybe they think uniforms unflattering, which is just foolish. Pigs care nothing for floats (except those involving root beer), and their trotters can't hold the lines for giant balloons. To top it off, pigs prefer sad, slow country ballads to peppy marching-band music. Maybe a panda parade, then...? Black and Hawkes reteam to good effect for a second sly and silly animal-centered tale (Chicken Cheeks, 2009). Black's deadpan wit might not be to all tastes, but sophisticated young audiences will hoot at the interplay of illustration and text. Hawkes's acrylic paintings, most full-bleed, of realistic porkers munching on majorette uniforms and noodling with instruments are nothing short of spectacular. A preposterous, porcine pleasure. (Picture book. 5-8)
Black's pitch-perfect porcine parody sets off at a brisk pace. "Like most children, you have probably thought to yourself at one time or another, I bet a pig parade would be a lot of fun." Hawkes (who illustrated Black's Chicken Cheeks) supplies a picture of pigs dashing forth in spruce uniforms, playing instruments, as fireworks explode behind them. "The only problem is," Black continues, "a pig parade is a terrible idea." A double-page spread shows why; no parade anywhere--just a trio of porkers "snuffling" around, one with chewing gum stuck to its snout. Skewering stuffy types who belabor the obvious, Black points out that real pigs show no willingness to march, won't wear majorette uniforms, and won't hold big balloons ("Because while pig hooves are good for digging up wild mushrooms, when it comes to holding giant parade balloons, they are simply not up to the job"). The Monty Pythonesque premise delivers laugh after laugh, while Hawkes's portraits of pigs chewing on their band hats, tromping on their horns, and floating into outer space with parade balloons will win over readers of all ages. Ages 4-8. (Sept.)[Page ]. Copyright 2010 Reed Business Information.
K-Gr 3--An omniscient narrator explains why a pig parade is not the great idea that one might think it is. Who knew? These barnyard animals hate to march (preferring, inappropriately, to snuffle); flat out refuse to wear majorette uniforms; don't care about building floats ("the only floats pigs care about are root beer floats"); and prefer sad country music ballads to "good, spirited marching band music." Bold, full-color acrylic illustrations, painterly in their texture, hilariously extend the wacky premise with witty details (bungee cords secure the pigs' ill-fitting majorette uniforms) and varied perspectives (a pig snout snuffles for leftovers in a larger-than-life close-up). The story's conclusion, that "a panda bear parade, on the other hand, would be fantastic," is just as silly and arbitrary. The tongue-in-cheek tone of the text coupled with the large-scale illustrations and generous trim size make this a surefire storyhour read-aloud that will elicit laughter and cheers of delight.--Kathleen Finn, St. Francis Xavier School, Winooski, VT[Page 78]. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.