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Being a Pig Is Nice: A Child's-Eye View of Manners

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A hilarious picture book about manners, turned upside down!

Why do animals get to misbehave, while humans have to act so prim and proper all the time? From the New York Times bestselling author comes a book about manners, all from the point-of-view of a little girl. In her refreshingly subversive world, monkeys must always use their fingers when they eat or get in trouble, elephants are encouraged to squirt and splatter everywhere, and pig parents ask their children to get muddy...

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Overview

A hilarious picture book about manners, turned upside down!

Why do animals get to misbehave, while humans have to act so prim and proper all the time? From the New York Times bestselling author comes a book about manners, all from the point-of-view of a little girl. In her refreshingly subversive world, monkeys must always use their fingers when they eat or get in trouble, elephants are encouraged to squirt and splatter everywhere, and pig parents ask their children to get muddy before they go to bed. Of course, if you're a pig, you smell, and that’s not nice. Still, the girl can see that behaving like an animal could be fun. . . .

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

Krall's florid, goofily ebullient work in his children's book debut should ring a bell with Cartoon Network fans-he's worked on several hits, including Powerpuff Girls and Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends. Here, he and Lloyd-Jones (How to Be a Baby... by Me, the Big Sister) follow a pigtailed heroine as she muses on manners, cultural relativism and the benefits of being any species other than human. "When you're a MONKEY, eating with a knife and fork isn't allowed. It's Against The Rules," she notes, as Krall shows a large monkey family's banana-eating bacchanal, with the hairy parents scowling at their prim, utensil-wielding daughter. "Misbehaving" animals earn hilariously screwy lectures: "You know the drill, young lady: sit up crooked, elbows in my face, fingers up your nose." Of course there's always a drawback to being each animal: owls, for instance "have to eat mice for breakfast and then throw up their fur and bones," a reality check that Krall portrays in a gleefully gross manner. Although the book skids to an end, the preceding pages are so high-spirited that readers will be forgiving. Ages 4-8. (May)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Children's Literature - Heidi Hauser Green
Being a child may be not-so-nice, with all the rules about politeness and manners and behaving oneself. But being a pig, now that must be nice. Right? Instead of having to be clean, you'd have to be dirty—and your dad would praise you for it. Still, you'd have to smell. Yuck! Well, what about a snail? Instead of walking fast, you'd have to dawdle—and your dad would tell you to "hurry down." Still, you'd be slimy. Yuck! So the book goes, through elephants and monkeys, owls and monsters…through splashing in the tub, eating with your hands, staying up at night, and doing bad things. Children love to embrace the unconventional and look at rules upside-down; this is a delightfully subversive text that encourages such a view. It is sure to be a hit with youngsters—and, since (almost) every misbehaving creature is shown to have its downside, it is likely to be a hit with parents, too. Reviewer: Heidi Hauser Green
School Library Journal

K-Gr 2

Tired of minding her manners, a little girl yearns to follow the animal world's rules of civility. It is considered "Very Rude" pigs to be clean, and they are admonished to get "all nice and muddy" before bed. Not splashing in the bathtub is "Atrocious, Disgraceful Conduct" for an elephant, and monkeys get in trouble for not eating with their fingers. However, there are drawbacks to consider: pigs smell, elephants are covered with flies, and monkeys "have to eat grubs out of everyone's ears." Krall's quirky Photoshop cartoons add to the subversive spirit with funny details such as a pig brushing his teeth with "Dirt" paste. Donning a long-nosed, furry-footed costume, the child playfully posits that whenever she's a monster she must forget her manners "because it's only polite!" Pair this with Amy Krouse Rosenthal's Little Pea (2005) and Little Hoot (2008, both Chronicle) for a topsy-turvy look at etiquette.-Linda Ludke, London Public Library, Ontario, Canada

Kirkus Reviews
This patterned romp joins a genre-ette that utilizes a sort of "perverse psychology" to engage preschoolers. A girl narrator leaves home, eyes a-roll, opining against parents' insistence on ceaselessly good manners. She wonders, "What if I were a pig?" After all, it's "Very Rude" for a pig to be clean. "You have to get muddy or you get in trouble." Lloyd-Jones pounces on preschoolers' delight in twin, newfound skills: identifying opposites and spotting zany absurdity. Our lass imagines successive animals castigated for what passes as exemplary behavior in human kids. A snail would be as rude going fast as a monkey eating with knife and fork. Ex-Nick denizen Krall Photoshops saucer-eyed creatures, exuberant whether violating or complying with their true natures. His no-limits palette mixes slime-green, a tomato-fuchsia hybrid, sulphur-yellow, peacock blue and more. Embodying the trendy penchant for the willfully amoral ending, the climactic spreads feature the girl, now costumed, emulating a "perfectly terrible" (though quite innocuous) monster. In character, she arrives home for dinner without her manners-"(Because it's only polite.)" Slight yet entertaining. (Picture book. 4-8)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780375841873
  • Publisher: Random House Children's Books
  • Publication date: 5/12/2009
  • Pages: 40
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.60 (w) x 11.80 (h) x 0.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Sally Lloyd-Jones

Sally Lloyd-Jones worked in children’s publishing for several years, leaving in 2000 to write full-time. She lives in New York City.

Dan Krall spends a great deal of time at Cartoon Network, where he has worked on many shows. This is his first picture book. He currently lives in Los Angeles with his wife, Rachel, and their cat, Fuzzums.

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted July 19, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    being a pig is nice

    being a pig is nice
    By: Brenda Butler (Michigan)
    This is a review from: "being a pig is nice: A CHILD'S-EYE VIEW OF MANNERS"

    This story is very fun to read with a young child. My daughter is 3 and she LOVED it. She laughed and laughed, looking forward to each new page. It was fun to read a story that looks at manners from a different perspective, like what it means for a monkey or an elephant to have good manners. Then, after reading what good manners are for other animals, my little girl and I talked about how those manners were different than the manners of people.

    The pictures are bright and engaging. The language is descriptive and humorous. I recommend this book to anyone who wants to help their kids work on appropriate manners, as well as to anyone who just wants a laugh.

    The only thing that bothered me about the story was the first half of the title being written in lowercase and the second half being written in uppercase. This can be confusing to children learning to read, but in reverse, it can be used to point differences out to them. The rest of this story is written with traditional capitalization and such.

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