Mogo, the Third Warthog

Overview


Mogo may be the runt of the litter, but he's determined to make it in the tough African savanna. His bossy and lazy older brothers don't have what it takes to survive, so he ventures off on his own. Mogo must learn to battle not only lions, cheetahs, and wild dogs, but also fear and loneliness.The friendship of a young baboon, who has also been cast out of his own community, helps Mogo find what he's been looking for: a life not just based on survival, but one that relishes the...
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Overview


Mogo may be the runt of the litter, but he's determined to make it in the tough African savanna. His bossy and lazy older brothers don't have what it takes to survive, so he ventures off on his own. Mogo must learn to battle not only lions, cheetahs, and wild dogs, but also fear and loneliness.The friendship of a young baboon, who has also been cast out of his own community, helps Mogo find what he's been looking for: a life not just based on survival, but one that relishes the joys of friendship and love.

Donna Jo Napoli, a master at retelling fables and fairy tales, spins a fascinating adventure from the story of The Three Little Pigs, while Lita Judge's black and white illustrations bring the unforgettable cast of characters to life.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Heather Christensen
In her latest book, Napoli once again breathes fresh life into a traditional folk tale, transplanting the children's favorite "The Three Little Pigs" to the African savannah. Mogo and his two warthog brothers have been kicked out of their mother's burrow and must find or make their own home, while being careful to avoid lions, hyenas and wild dogs. The runt of the family, Mogo is cautious about leaving the protection of hime, and both saddened and frightened at the thought of living alone. But like the third little pig in the English folk tale, Mogo's careful ways serve him well. Napoli introduces plenty of background information about warthogs and life on the African plains. At times, the facts threaten to overshadow the narrative, but the story wins out in the end. Judge's whimsical drawings are a perfect complement to Napoli's text. The picture of three small warthogs peeking out from underneath a large rhinoceros is a clever reminder of how all life on the savannah is interconnected. This book would make a perfect companion to a study of "The Three Little Pigs" or a social studies unit about savannah biomes. Reviewer: Heather Christensen
School Library Journal

Gr 3-6

When warthogs have their third litter, the sows cast out their first litter. That's how Mogo, the runt of his litter, finds himself on his own. Using what he has learned from his mother, from his older brothers' missteps, and from a helpful baboon who is also alone, he carves out a life as he matures and finds a potential mate. While the author builds on a strong natural-history base, she also explores her characters' emotions, hopes, and fears. This tempers the potentially frightening wild world of the African savanna's hungry cheetahs, wild dogs, and lions, who hunt to ensure their own survival in a harsh environment. The book's high read-aloud potential stems from Mogo's appeal as an unlikely hero who thrives when he finds friendship and loving companions. Realistic black and gray-tone watercolor illustrations that range in size from small vignettes to full page grace every chapter, introduce unfamiliar animals, and interpret the action.-Ellen G. Fader, Multnomah County Library, Portland, OR

Kirkus Reviews
Napoli, known for her fairy-tale retellings, has reworked "The Three Little Pigs" into a tale of life on the African savanna. Mogo is the runt of his litter and always the last in line. His brothers tease Mogo, calling him "scaredy," but the cautious piggy knows many predators target the last one, so he pays close attention to every sound and smell. Mogo loves living with his family and being part of a much larger group of warthogs called a sounder. When his mother announces she is expecting another litter, it is time for Mogo and his brothers to live on their own, launching the familiar plot on its way. Mogo's first-person narration will keep young readers making the transition into chapter books on edge as he relates the joys and very real dangers of life on the savanna. His unlikely friendship with a young baboon and a group of Kipling-esque giraffes helps Mogo discover he has what it takes to survive-for now. Judge's simple black-and-white drawings sprinkled throughout enhance the text. (Fantasy. 7-10)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781423108177
  • Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
  • Publication date: 8/23/2011
  • Pages: 208
  • Sales rank: 276,299
  • Product dimensions: 7.40 (w) x 5.32 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author


Donna Jo Napoli (www.donnajonapoli.com) teaches linguistics at Swarthmore College and is the author of several novels for middle graders and young adults, including Zel, an American Bookseller Pick of the Lists, a Publishers Weekly Best Book, a Bulletin Blue Ribbon Book, and a School Library Journal Best Book; The Magic Circle, an ALA Best Book for Young Readers; and Ugly, a companion to this book. She lives in Swarthmore, Pennsylvania.

Lita Judge (www.litajudge.com) was born in Ketchikan, Alaska, but now lives in Peterborough, New Hampshire, with her husband and two adorable cats. Her first picture book, One Thousand Tracings, received the International Reading Association Children's Book Award and the Jane Addams Children's Book Honor. It was also selected as an ALA and an NCTE Notable Book. She is also the author-illustrator of Pennies for Elephants, Born to Be Giants, Yellowstone Moran, and Strange Creatures.

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