The Great Pig Escape

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Bert and Ethel have a long truck drive to market, and when they arrive, the pigs they intended to sell have mysteriously disappeared. "The lively, funny text employs various verbs and moves along at a rapid pace. Whether listening in a small group or one-on-one, children will chortle over the antics of these clever porkers." -- School Library Journal

Bert and Ethel try raising pigs on their farm, but when they get to market the pigs...

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Overview

Bert and Ethel have a long truck drive to market, and when they arrive, the pigs they intended to sell have mysteriously disappeared. "The lively, funny text employs various verbs and moves along at a rapid pace. Whether listening in a small group or one-on-one, children will chortle over the antics of these clever porkers." -- School Library Journal

Bert and Ethel try raising pigs on their farm, but when they get to market the pigs have disappeared.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
In this strategic endorsement of vegetarianism, six pigs foil the folks who would turn them into bacon. Farmers Bert and Ethel, who usually cultivate their gardens, raise half a dozen piglets to sell at auction. But the pigs overhear Bert and Ethel's grim plan, and plot an escape from the pickup truck that's taking them on their final ride. After they chew through a rope that ties the tailgates, the anthropomorphized pork-chops-to-be steal some clothes, disguise themselves and hop a bus to Florida. (Accompanied by a postcard signed, simply, ``Oink!'' the clothes are returned parcel post.) Christelow ( The Five-Dog Night ) contours her characters in ink and adds brightly hued, fluid watercolors. She derives humor from various pigs vs. people scenarios--Bert and Ethel don't realize that their livestock knows what's up, and the escapees, attired in dresses and hats, cross paths with the befuddled farmers many times. The high jinks are like a harmless game of hide-and-seek--just as long as readers forget that the pigs are running for their very lives. Ages 5-8. (Aug.)
Library Journal
K-Gr 2-This fully-voiced reading of Eileen Christelow's pig tale (HM, 1994) will be a big hit with young listeners. As farmers Bert and Ethel decide to raise pigs to sell at auction, the pigs plot their own future to save their lives. On the way to market, the pigs escape one by one, as the community's clothing disappears from clotheslines and shop windows. Humor is rampant as the pigs masquerade in the company of bewildered townsfolk. The clothes are returned (not nice to steal, you know!) along with a postcard telling the farmers where the pigs have relocated. Appropriate background noises (pigs, honking horns, and chattering people) along with dramatic musical interludes make the listening even more fun. Whether listened to independently or in a group, children will love this story and will appreciate Christelow's ink and watercolor illustrations. Don't let this one get away.-Kirsten Martindale, Buford Academy, GA Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 3-Bert and Ethel grow the best vegetables for miles around. Then Bert decides that they should raise pigs instead. His six piglets do well and grow quickly, and, when they overhear plans to take them to market, they plot their escape. And so the fun begins: they get out of the truck two by two, take clothes from a line and from a sidewalk-sale rack, and, thus disguised, board a Florida-bound bus, leaving the baffled Bert and Ethel behind. Months later the post office receives a box from Florida addressed to ``the people missing hats, pants, dresses, shirts...and pigs.'' The pigs have returned everything, along with a postcard to Bert and Ethel with the message, ``Oink!'' The cartoon illustrations, executed in watercolor and pen and ink with a loose, sketchy line and light, bright colors, are filled with humor. Facial expressions are effectively conveyed with just a few dots and lines. The uncluttered composition allows children to focus on essential elements, such as a pig running off with the tailgate bolt and the posters of the lost articles and livestock on a bulletin board in a cafe. Observant readers will laugh as they spot the dressed-up pigs hitchhiking, walking around town, blending in with the townspeople. Even the endpapers are jolly. The lively, funny text employs vigorous verbs and moves along at a rapid pace. Whether listening in a small group or one-on-one, children will chortle over the antics of these clever porkers.-Cynthia K. Richey, Mt. Lebanon Public Library, Pittsburgh, PA
Carolyn Phelan
Tired of hoeing weeds in the turnip field, farmers Ethel and Bert turn to pig farming, investing in six little piglets to raise and sell for pork chops. As the pigs grow up, Ethel becomes convinced that they can understand human speech and even talk among themselves. Sure enough, as the farmers drive their piggies to market, the clever animals jump out of the truck; swipe clothes from scarecrows, store mannequins, and clothes lines; disguise themselves as people; and board a bus bound for Florida. Children will enjoy watching the animals elude the unobservant (not to say thick-headed) people in the witty, line-and-watercolor illustrations. The text has its own folksy humor, with great read-aloud lines such as "One day, when the pigs were slurping up their slop . . ." A good-natured romp with no real villains, this engaging story will have wide appeal.
From the Publisher
"The lively, funny text employs various verbs and moves along at a rapid pace. Whether listening in a small group or one-on-one, children will chortle over the antics of these clever porkers." School Library Journal
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780395669730
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Publication date: 8/28/1994
  • Format: Library Binding
  • Pages: 40
  • Age range: 5 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 10.00 (w) x 9.25 (h) x 0.13 (d)

Meet the Author

Eileen Christelow has created numerous fun and funny picture books, including the Five Little Monkeys series, Author, and most recently, Letters from a Desperate Dog. She and her husband, Ahren, live in Vermont. For more information visit www.christelow.com.

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