When we read to our kids, we often have a purpose in mind. We’ve all read the research that says, reading to kids is good for them! Maybe you’re reading an ABC book to your toddler to help him learn his letters. Or maybe you’re trying to help your kindergartner get over her fear of school. Or maybe you are looking to share with your kids the books that you loved growing up, in the hopes that someday they will do the same for your grandchildren. Well today I am asking you to throw purpose out the window, and just enjoy. Enjoy that there are parents in this book who actually think their daughter has been turned into a pig. Enjoy the giggles of your children when they see Pigmella face-first in the royal buffet. Enjoy the clever references to classic fairy tales. And enjoy the look on the face of the handsome prince, when he realizes to whom he’s been betrothed.
THE PRINCESS AND THE PIG
- Written By: Jonathan Emmett
- Illustrated By: Poly Bernatene
- Published By: Walker Children’s, September 27, 2011
- Suitable For: Ages 4 and up
- Topics/Themes: Fairytales, Fun, Honesty, Happiness
- Opening: “Not that long ago, in a kingdom not far from here, a farmer was traveling home from the market with a cartload of straw. The farmer was so poor that he didn’t have a horse and had to pull his own cart. In the back of the cart lay a tiny pink piglet.”
- Synopsis: (from Walker Children’s) There’s been a terrible mix-up in the royal nursery. Priscilla the princess has accidentally switched places with Pigmella, the farmer’s new piglet. The kindly farmer and his wife believe it’s the work of a good witch, while the ill-tempered king and queen blame the bad witch-after all, this happens in fairy tales all the time! While Priscilla grows up on the farm, poor yet very happy, things don’t turn out quite so well for Pigmella. Kissing a frog has done wonders before, but will it work for a pig?
- Links to Resources: The idea I had for using this book with kids was to read and discuss one or more of the referenced classic fairy tales in the book. Then you could talk about what is the same/different in this book. Well, Cheryl over at the Reading Rumpus had the same idea, and she put together some great discussion questions, too. So head on over to her site and take a look!
- Why I Like this Book: This book is just one big bag of fun. Kids will laugh as they see Pigmella treated like a princess (and yet not quite able to act like royalty)! Parents will laugh at Emmett’s cleverly crafted repeated line, “It’s the sort of thing that happens all the time in books.” And the illustrations of Bernatene are delightful. His work adds so much of the funny to Emmett’s words. This book is one that my kids and I enjoy equally, which is so essential for a great bedtime reading experience! And if fun is not enough for you, and you absolutely need your books to have a message, there is a great one here in the example of the honest farmer and his wife, who don’t need the money or power of royalty to be truly happy.