Saving Emma the Pig

Feiwel & Friends. May 2019. 40p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781250187796.
PreS-Gr 2–Chester, aka Farmer John, owns and runs Apricot Lane Farms, a 214-acre regenerative farm outside of Santa Barbara, CA. He wrote and directed an award-winning documentary about his family’s experiences (The Biggest Little Farm) and has now created a series of picture books for young readers. This first title chronicles the adventures of Emma the pig, who arrives at their farm very pregnant and deathly ill. She quickly gives birth to 17 piglets  and the famer and his wife have to move the little ones into their own house while they attempt to nurse Emma back to health. She refuses to eat and everyone is very concerned for her well-being. Then they decide to return her piglets to her and—voila!—Emma begins to eat and she and her babies are soon healthy and thriving. Meyer’s illustrations are rendered in graphic and digital painting and are dreamy and warm. The minimal text gets the story across but lets the illustrations take center stage. The endpapers contain photos of the animals and there is also an informative afterword by the author.
VERDICT A smart purchase for those looking to augment their collections with realistic farm and animal stories.

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