Aunt Pitty Patty's Piggy


This fresh, rhythmic version of "The Old Woman and Her Pig" begs to be read aloud again and again.

A cumulative tale in which Aunt Pitty Patty's niece Nellie tries to get piggy to go through the gate.

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This fresh, rhythmic version of "The Old Woman and Her Pig" begs to be read aloud again and again.

A cumulative tale in which Aunt Pitty Patty's niece Nellie tries to get piggy to go through the gate.

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Editorial Reviews

Horn Book
(Preschool, Primary)
Here's a new recipe for an old favorite: Take Joseph Jacobs's classic "The Old Woman and Her Pig" as recounted in his English Folk and Fairy Tales (Jacobs cites several predecessors and variants for this cumulative tale; alas, Aylesworth doesn't acknowledge a single one). Subtract the sixpence and at least half the woman's age; name her "Aunt Pitty Patty." Appoint a winsome child, niece Nelly, as chief negotiator. Make the language marginally less challenging (but deprive the pig of its one good excuse for its recalcitrance) by changing the stile where Piggy balks into an open gate. Temper the threatened violence (it's still "fire...burn stick"; but has become "butcher...scare ox" (rather than "kill") and "rope...tie butcher" (not "hang"). Extend the tale by adding a handsome farmer to give Nelly hay for the cow to exchange for milk for the cat so the cat will "chase" the rat, etc.; this farmer then comes home with Nelly to eat the supper pretty Auntie's been cooking while Nelly was questing for help getting piggy through that gate. Meanwhile, plump up the tale with extra words, though not enough to alter the meaning much, or to interfere (well, only a little) with its pell-mell trajectory. Lace well with Barbara McClintock's sweetly old-fashioned pencil and watercolor art, which sets this comic saga of willful disobedience in a bucolic nineteenth-century landscape with sunflowers blooming in Aunt Pitty Patty's garden. Top with McClintock's humorously expressive, delicately characterized cast-especially that stubborn, yet ever-cheerful, pig. Yield: one picture book, a bit sweeter and less assertive in flavor (as suits contemporary palates); still, good nutritional value. j.r.l.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Fresh from The Gingerbread Man, Aylesworth and McClintock offer a similarly energetic, folksy retelling of a sequential tale about a stubborn pig who refuses to pass through a gate to enter the yard of its new owner. Rendered in brown pencil and watercolors, McClintock's earth-toned art conjures a rural 19th-century setting, replete with charming period particulars. The text's repetition and rhythm virtually command readers to chime in, as the determined heroine, Nelly, tries to enlist the aid of a number of initially uncooperative animals and inanimate objects: "Stick, stick, come hit dog. Dog won't bite Aunt Pitty Patty's piggy. It's gettin' late, and piggy's by the gate sayin', `No, no, no, I will not go!' " Nelly's resolve pays off in an ending propelled by an amusing chain reaction. McClintock's pictures contain spirited details--e.g., a butcher, complying with Nelly's request that he scare an ox, chases the animal while carrying a picture of a steak; and the title character, persuaded at last to enter the yard, licks his chops hopefully as he stares in through the window at a supper shared by his mistress, her farmer suitor and Nelly. A recipe for corn bread appears, invitingly if irrelevantly, on the back of the book jacket. Narrative and art pull equal weight in this cheerful reworking. Ages 3-7. (Sept.) Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
Children's Literature - Dianne Ochiltree
Aylesworth and McClintock have produced a delightful follow-up to their first highly acclaimed picture book, The Gingerbread Man. This time the tale re-told is an old folk nursery rhyme/memory game from our American past--the story of Aunt Pitty Patty, her niece Nelly and a stubborn pig who won't go through the garden gate. What Nelly goes through to get the pig on his way will amuse readers. The text is filled with catchy sounds, rhythms and rhymes as it builds the story with a repetition of homespun phrases. The full-color illustrations give an accurate view of nineteenth century farm life with a liberal dose of down-home humor. Children and adults alike will enjoy the word play in this charming, hardcover picture book.
Kirkus Reviews
Aylesworth and McClintock (The Gingerbread Man, 1998) tackle the story of the old woman whose pig won't go over the stile, hindering her from going home. Here, the fat piggy is purchased at the market, but when it arrives home, it won't go through the gate. The old woman, in this case Aunt Pitty Patty, enlists her young niece Nelly to go fetch help. Nelly implores a dog to bite the pig, a stick to hit the dog, a fire to burn the stick, water to douse the fire, etc. All the while, the piggy is parked by the gate reciting, "No, no, no, I will not go." Aylesworth's addition of the rhyming refrain preserves some of the cadence of the traditional tale, while softening the verbs ("hit" instead of "beat," the rope "ties" instead of "hangs," the butcher is to "scare" instead of "kill") usually associated with it. McClintock emphasizes expression over action, and employs the same dainty brown line and soft watercolor wash of this team's previous book. (Picture book/folklore. 3-7)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780590899871
  • Publisher: Scholastic, Inc.
  • Publication date: 9/1/1999
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 3 - 7 Years
  • Lexile: AD680L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 9.30 (w) x 11.07 (h) x 0.45 (d)

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