Is That Wise, Pig?

Is That Wise, Pig? illus. by Jan Thomas. 40p. S. & S./Beach Lane. Sept. 2016. Tr $14.99. ISBN 9781416985822. POP
PreS-Gr 1—Children will be delighted with this silly variation of the traditional "Stone Soup" story. Several animals add ingredients to make a big pot of soup, but Pig brings some seemingly strange items, such as umbrellas and galoshes. When Pig brings his offerings, the other animals ask, "Is that wise, Pig?" Young readers will all know that his silly donations are not wise at all and will laugh at his poor choices. But in the end, Pig's choices are wise indeed. This book is depicted in the author's familiar style: large, cartoonlike illustrations with heavy black outlines cover the pages, and the text is provided via speech bubbles. The ingredients are also presented as a counting lesson: "one onion, two cabbages," and so on. Young readers will be easily engaged by the ridiculous pig and appealing illustrations and will be drawn into the subtle counting exercise.
VERDICT This read-aloud begs for extended activities, such as having children make (draw, paint, or cut) their own contributions to a communal pot of soup for the group. Recommended for all collections.

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