Olympig!: The Triumphant Story of an Underdog

illus. by author. 32p. Dial. 2012. RTE $16.99. ISBN 978-0-8037-3536-1.
K-Gr 3—"If you practice and try your best," says Boomer, "you can do anything!" This cheerfully unrealistic belief carries the piglet through a series of painful and amusing disasters at the summer Animal Olympics. His fellow sprinters include a greyhound and a cheetah; one of the weight lifters is an elephant; and he's easily beaten at pole vaulting by a flying squirrel. But each time Brent Hamstring, discouraging sports reporter, confronts Boomer with the impossibility of his winning any event, the pig bounces back to try again. (Okay, a couple of temper tantrums intervene.) One suspects that his can-do attitude has a lot to do with his mama, who says on camera, "My son may not be perfect, but he is still my special little boy. Boomer…I love you and I am so proud of you!" Jamieson snatches moral victory from the jaws of athletic defeat with warmth, satirical wit, and old-fashioned silliness. Her drawings and formats are wonderfully varied, colorful, and bursting with personality. Subtle, funny commentaries will be appreciated by slightly older readers, stretching Olympig's appeal.—Susan Weitz, formerly at Spencer-Van Etten School District, Spencer, NY
Backed by hard work and family support, pig Boomer competes in the Animal Olympics. Though he tries his best at running, wrestling, swimming, etc., Boomer finishes last every time. Disappointment fuels a temper tantrum, but some positive motherly words offer a fresh perspective. Illustrations packed with hilarious details (including snarky porcine-sports-commentator asides) accompany this underdog tale that's both realistic and uplifting.

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