Friendship. Acceptance. Looking beyond skin deep. All good messages. Can they apply when we're talking about pigs and frogs? Let's risk it.
So, here we are in the pond with the usual suspects croaking about and being their own unique selves when .... wait a minute... sitting in the middle of the pond on the best rock I might add is a pig... a large pink pig whose ears cover his eyes. What's he doing there? What does he want? Is he making fun of us? And to their amazement the pig compounds the confusion by opening his snout and giving a loud, pronounced Ribbit.
This is a forest of very charming animals. Any one of them would make a delightful pet but grouped together as they are and faced with this very difficult problem, they are truly befuddled. Actually they are beyond befuddled. They are all the way to angry.
The pig practices his Ribbit and the animals led by a forceful frog with a very magical one-toed foot head off to find he who knows all... the wise beetle.
The subject of diversity and acceptance is running rampant through the forest and is ever so charmingly explored and felt and struggled with. What does one do when one is faced with a pig who seems to have invaded the world of the frog with not so much as a mother may I. Gasping occurs.
Happily for all of us the beetle turns out to be very wise indeed and equally delightfully endowed with a black horn. If you're going to deal with a subject of such sensitivity, the black horned beetle as oracle is a must.
They won my heart ... all of them. They'll get you too. It's the illustrations...charming and warm along with the clever and marvelous journey through and resolution to our problem. 32 pages Ages 4-9 978-0307981462
Recommended by: Barb
"I don't want to fake you out Take or shake or forsake you out I ain't lookin' for you to feel like me See like me or be like me All I really want to do Is, baby, be friends with you" -- Bob Dylan (1964)
"But again, all the little pig said was... 'Ribbit!' "News of the little pig who thought he was a frog spread fast, and all the animals hurried to the pond to see the visitor... "'This new relative of yours is a little pink!' said the raccoon. "'He's no relation of ours!' declared the frogs. "'He certainly sounds like a frog...' said the weasel. "'Why would a pig want to be a frog?' said the parrot. "'And what's wrong with being a frog, may we ask?' exclaimed the frogs. "Everyone started shouting at each other, completely ignoring the little pig... ...who just sat their practicing his 'Ribbit!'"
The world can always use another good friendship story, and this one -- about the little pink pig who one day mysteriously appears on a rock at the frog pond and says (What did he say?) is a really great one. It's got that perfect audience join-in hook. And it has an absolutely joyful ending. What more could we ask for? Oh, yeah. That too: very well-drawn animal characters and a wise old beetle to clue them all in on which way is up.
But the best parts of the illustrations are the frogs themselves. With dozens of expressive frogs who are different from one, I get such a kick out of looking from frog to frog to frog as they all freak out over what the little pink pig says. (What does he say?) The ending is not only joyful; it is a very fun surprise. Don't miss it! 32 pages 978-0-307-98146-2
Recommended by: Richie Partington, MLIS, Librarian, California USA
See More of his picks: Richie's Picks _http://richiespicks.com