Pig the Elf

illus. by Aaron Blabey. 24p. Scholastic. Sept. 2017. Tr $14.99. ISBN 9781338221220.
K-Gr 3—Pig, introduced in Pig the Pug, is back again in all his selfish splendor. Christmas is coming, and the greedy little pug expects Santa to deliver each item on his lengthy list. Unlike Trevor, a well-behaved dachshund, he refuses to go to sleep on Christmas Eve. He's wide awake when the "portly old gent" pays his visit and makes no bones about calling him out for the scanty pile of presents. "'Hey!' shouted Pig, sounding very unkind. Then he nipped poor old Santa's big, rosy behind!" Santa flees to his sleigh with Pig clamped on tight, and as the reindeer team speeds off, he falls away through the sky. He is saved from utter destruction, miraculously, as the text points out, by landing atop a Christmas tree topped by an angel. Though the ending is rather abrupt, the final glimpse of Pig with wings and a halo is hilariously ironic, since readers can be pretty sure he is unrepentant.
VERDICT Clever rhymes and engaging illustrations combine to make this a fun way to convey the message that greed is bad. Highly recommended.

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