Horse in the Pigpen

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The horse is in the pigpen ... the pigs are in the chicken coop ... and you'll never guess where the chickens are! Heeey, Ma!

Something very strange is happening on this little farm. None of the animals are where they belong! The only person who can sort it all out is Ma — but Ma is terribly busy. What will the animals and one puzzled little girl do if Ma never has time to get everything back the way it's supposed to be?

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Overview

The horse is in the pigpen ... the pigs are in the chicken coop ... and you'll never guess where the chickens are! Heeey, Ma!

Something very strange is happening on this little farm. None of the animals are where they belong! The only person who can sort it all out is Ma — but Ma is terribly busy. What will the animals and one puzzled little girl do if Ma never has time to get everything back the way it's supposed to be?

The author-illustrator team who created The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything will charm readers with a playful text that begs to be read aloud and delightfully slapstick illustrations of one discombobulated farmyard.

A child tries to get his mother's attention as chaos erupts around the family farm.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
The horse wallowing in the pigpen is just the beginning of a girl's laughable lament in this rhyming barnyard romp by the creators of The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything. When the youngster yells to her mother, "Horse is in the pigpen, rollin' in the slop," the woman calmly answers, "Tell it to the pigs, dear. It's time for me to mop." Thus begins a domino effect. Lloyd shows the horse on its back, wallowing like its porcine neighbors, and succeeding good-natured vignettes and full-bleed spreads portray the comical turn of events as one species displaces another. Finally, the girl finds the ducks (banished from their pond when the cat takes a swim) in the cow barn and in the book's funniest image of all the dozing bovine in her own bed. The mother then rises to the occasion, launching a reverse chain reaction that lands all of the critters back in their proper digs. Except one: a diminutive mouse that observant readers will have noticed lurking in preceding pages, whose antics just may launch the merry mayhem all over again. This farmyard frolic is sure to elicit gleeful groans of "Oh, no!" from young listeners. Ages 3-6. (Apr.) Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Children's Literature
There's a horse in the pigpen, the pigs are in the chicken coop, and the hens are in the doghouse. All of the animals on this farm are displaced and Mom is too occupied with her own chores to be too concerned. Rhythmic repetitive text is used as the main character gradually discovers that life on the farm is not quite as it should be. Young children will enjoy the rhythm, rhyme, and sound patterns used in this simple story. The colorful pictures delightfully add to the text by illustrating a young girls perplexity as the animals frolic in each other's housing. The pictures at the end of the story allow the reader to recall and retell the story. It seems that life on the farm is back to normal, but the observant reader will wonder, is it really? 2002, Harper Collins,
— Denise Daley
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 1-Welcome to a farm where all of the animals are not where they are supposed to be. The story begins with one displaced horse rolling in mud like a hog. As the farmer's daughter discovers one disaster after another, she asks her mother for help, with a yell of "Heeey, Ma." Whether mom is talking on the phone or darning socks, she just does not have time to deal with the mess today. So each time, she tells her daughter to tell someone else about the situation. Pretty soon, a cow decides to take up residence in the house, and Ma finally takes notice. Everything seems to be in order, until the little girl climbs into bed for a last-page surprise. Each mixed-up situation is told in rhyming stanzas with a predictable beat, rhyme, and conclusion. Sometimes, it all seems a little forced, but youngsters will be caught up by the flow of the text. The oil illustrations are vibrant and full of motion. There is a lot of action on these spreads, and very little text, which should keep the attention of listeners. This book begs to be read aloud, as almost every stanza is in dialogue with a singsong rhythm. A funny and attractive addition to any library.-Hannah Hoppe, Miles City Public Library, MT Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Something funny is afoot on the farm, but mom doesn't have time to listen in this pleasing pastoral romp. Previously teamed in The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything (1986), collaborators Williams and Lloyd capture all the frantic activity with a humorous juxtaposition of words and images. "Heeey, Ma," says the girl. "Horse is in the pigpen, rollin' in the slop." The horse dominates the opening spread; in the background, displaced pigs trample the chicken wire that guards the hen house. "Tell it to the pigs, dear. It's time for me to mop," is mom's only response. Vignettes show the girl trying to figure out what to do. Following her mother's advice, she discovers that the "hens are in the doghouse, gnawin' on a bone." The pattern repeats throughout as the girl bears witness to a series of strange occurrences. It's only when the girl threatens to spend the night in the barn (because "Daisy" the cow is asleep in her bed) that mom responds. "Heeey, NO! Go and fetch the broom now! I'll straighten up this farm." In the first of three wordless double-paged spreads, Ma sweeps Daisy out with a flourish. The cow lands in the corner of the next spread, setting off a chain reaction that ends with the horse galloping off the page. Finally, all the animals are in their place as night falls on the farm. The rhythm and repetition of Williams's text make this an enjoyable read-aloud; cleverly detailed and often outlandish illustrations make it a visual treat. (Picture book. 3-6)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780060285470
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 4/28/2002
  • Edition description: 1ST
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 5 - 6 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.50 (w) x 11.00 (h) x 0.25 (d)

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