Grunt

Overview

Wee-skin-and-bones isn’t like the other little pigs, who tease him for being different. So he runs away from home, into the middle of a great dark forest. There, with some help from an unexpected friend, Wee-skin-and-bones learns that it doesn’t really matter if your tail isn’t curly and whirly and your ears aren’t flippy-flappy—it’s how you feel on the inside that counts.
With playful, exuberant text and endearing illustrations, John Richardson has created a reassuring story ...

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Overview

Wee-skin-and-bones isn’t like the other little pigs, who tease him for being different. So he runs away from home, into the middle of a great dark forest. There, with some help from an unexpected friend, Wee-skin-and-bones learns that it doesn’t really matter if your tail isn’t curly and whirly and your ears aren’t flippy-flappy—it’s how you feel on the inside that counts.
With playful, exuberant text and endearing illustrations, John Richardson has created a reassuring story for young children about the unconditional love of family and the importance of celebrating one’s differences.

Teased by his older siblings about his appearance and tiny squeal, a little piggy finds acceptance with an equally odd-looking companion who teaches him to celebrate his differences and recognize that others will appreciate his uniqueness, too.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"A light-hearted tale that sends a worthwhile message to children." Kirkus Reviews

A surefire storytime selection with a positive message.
School Library Journal

Publishers Weekly
The piglet protagonist of this tale of self-esteem is, outwardly, unimpressive: Wee-skin-and-bones has "crinkly-crumply" ears, a "tiddly-widdly button of a snout" and "absolutely no tail at all," and he can manage only a "teeny-tiny" grunt. Ignored by his father and teased by his more comely siblings, he runs away to the forest. There he's taken in by a kindly wild boar who personifies the power of a positive outlook: "I'm a bristly old scruff on the outside, but inside... Oooo... I'm a beauty!" The piglet revels in spending time with someone who values his company, yet he misses his kin; fortunately, his worried mother and siblings come to find him. Richardson's (illustrator of the Budgie books) watercolors are warmly and whimsically detailed, but the mood is constantly sunny despite the piglet's changing emotions. His surroundings look utterly welcoming, even the barnyard where he feels so rejected and the big dark forest where he feels scared and lonely. And when reunited with Wee-skin-and-bones, the piglet's mother "smother[s] her baby in a whole shower of kisses," but neither the father who previously "didn't seem to notice him at all" nor the unkind brothers and sisters ever articulate any kind of regret or affection. The newfound sense of family connection closes the book on a false note. Ages 4-7. (Mar.) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
School Library Journal
PreS-K-This is the tale of a little pig who is ostracized by his siblings because he has "crinkly-crumply ears, a tiddly-widdly button of a snout, and absolutely no tail at all." Wee-skin-and-bones, convinced that no one loves him, runs "wee-wee-wee all the way from home" and into a great dark forest. There he meets Old-scratch-and-scruff, a boar who teaches him about self-acceptance ("I'm a bristly old scruff on the outside, but inside- Oooo- I'm a beauty!"). By the time Mama Pig comes looking for him, Wee-skin-and-bones has learned how to be happy with himself as he is. Though the story is hardly original, Richardson's telling gains energy from its onomatopoeic language and bright, expressive watercolors. A surefire storytime selection with a positive message.-Kathleen Kelly MacMillan, Maryland School for the Deaf, Columbia Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
A melancholy runt learns about happiness and self-acceptance from a genial boar. The smallest offspring in a robust clan, Wee-skin-and-bones feels at a considerable disadvantage to his hefty siblings. With a snout that's too small, ears that are too wrinkled, and a tail that's nonexistent, the blue-deviled piglet is excluded from his sibling's piggy play. Despondent, Wee-skin-and-bones runs off to the forest, where he's befriended by an angel of mercy in porcine guise. Old-scratch-and-scruff offers the piglet complete acceptance and friendship. The hairy boar teaches the forlorn piggy that looks are only skin deep. "I'm a bristly old scruff on the outside, but inside . . . Oooo . . . I'm a beauty!" However, this is no fairy tale about an ugly waif who grows into a splendid looking creature. Richardson wisely refrains from altering the piglet's outward appearance; rather, the transformation occurs from within, as Wee-skin-and-bones discovers that happiness with yourself is by far the most attractive quality you can possess. Richardson's peacefully pastoral watercolors feature a palette of tranquil hues. Heart-warming illustrations of the young piglet and old boar merrily cavorting about the forest expressively reveal the divine pleasure to be found in a true friendship. A light-hearted tale that sends a worthwhile message to children. (Picture book. 4-7)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780618159741
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Publication date: 3/15/2002
  • Edition description: None
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 5 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.80 (w) x 10.66 (h) x 0.34 (d)

Meet the Author

John Richardson is the illustrator of several children's books, including the BUDGIE books by the Dutchess of york (S&S) and his own TEN BEARS GO MARCHING: A POP-UP BOOK (Hyperion). This is his first book for Clarion. He lives in England.

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