Our Principal Promised to Kiss a Pig

Our Principal Promised to Kiss a Pig

4.0 2
by Kalli Dakos, Alicia DesMarteau, Carl DiRocco
     
 

In September, when the school principal promises to kiss a pig if the students read 10,000 books, a girl volunteers Hamlet, her unwilling, Shakespeare-quoting pet pig. But poor Hamlet wants nothing to do with such foolishness.

Overview

In September, when the school principal promises to kiss a pig if the students read 10,000 books, a girl volunteers Hamlet, her unwilling, Shakespeare-quoting pet pig. But poor Hamlet wants nothing to do with such foolishness.

Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
Gr 1-4-When the students in Ms. Juliet's school read more than 10,000 books, she must fulfill her promise to kiss a pig. The young narrator offers her porcine pet, Hamlet, who isn't looking forward to smooching a stranger. Displayed in thought balloons over Hamlet's head are Shakespeare-inspired verses that express his initial dismay and eventual change of heart. These quotes, along with the lines that inspired them and a brief biography of the Bard, are listed at the end of the book. The conversational text is prone to excessive plot exposition, giving the story a very slow pace. The authors fail to impart a feeling of excitement as the big day draws near, so the climax falls flat. DiRocco's colorful watercolor illustrations highlight the most important moments and help bring the tale to life. His depiction of Hamlet dressed in 17th-century attire adds to the mood. Attempting to introduce children to Shakespeare in the guise of a verse-quoting pig is a novel idea. Unfortunately, this is a mediocre story that is hindered rather than helped by its allusions to the playwright. Younger audiences won't understand the references, while older readers will be put off by the book's format. For a better introduction, try Marcia Williams's Tales from Shakespeare (Candlewick, 1998).-Catherine Callegari, San Antonio Public Library, TX Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Read 10,000 books this year, challenges Principal Ms. Juliet, and she will kiss a pig. Dakos and DesMarteau's principal, who will go to great lengths to get her charges to read, has already pulled some odd stunts, though kissing a pig is an invitation to make a child's heart sing. The narrator has volunteered her pig Hamlet-a Shakespeare spouter of his own design-to get the buss. He cribs and tweaks some famous lines to register his disapproval: "To kiss, or not to kiss, / The principal in school? / Why choose a pig / To be their fool?" When Hamlet's eyes fall on the fair Juliet, however, he suddenly becomes much more interested. She gasps, then delivers on her promise. DiRocco's artwork is fittingly busy and possesses good Elizabethan costumery and lots of funny detail. Would that the references for Hamlet's self-styled lines at the end contained a more complete rendering of the source material. Still, an interesting twist on a familiar event. (Picture book. 4-8)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780807566299
Publisher:
Whitman, Albert & Company
Publication date:
01/01/2004
Pages:
32
Product dimensions:
8.16(w) x 10.02(h) x 0.34(d)
Lexile:
AD840L (what's this?)
Age Range:
7 - 10 Years

Read an Excerpt

Our Principal Promised to Kiss a Pig


By Kalli Dakos, Alicia DesMarteau, Carl DiRocco

ALBERT WHITMAN & Company

Copyright © 2004 Kalli Dakos and Alicia DesMarteau
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-0-8075-6629-9


CHAPTER 1

My pet pig Hamlet knows about broken hearts, and it's all my fault.

It started in September when the principal of my school said she would kiss a pig if the students read lots of books. Ms. Juliet loves to do crazy things to get us to read. Last year she went up in a hot air balloon, even though she is terrified of heights, and her screams were so loud they scared the toupee off the gym teacher's head.

Another year she sat on the roof of the school for an entire day and read books. When it started to rain, she put on scuba-diving goggles and a snorkel and kept right on reading.

This year she has promised to kiss a pig if we read 10,000 books.

It just so happened that I had a pig! My aunt won a pet pig at the state fair last year and gave him to me when she moved into an apartment that doesn't allow pets. She teaches high school students about a man called William Shakespeare. He was a writer hundreds of years ago. People spoke a funny kind of English back then, and had weird names like Romeo, Touchstone, and Hamlet. My aunt thought it would be funny to name her pig Hamlet.

Without even thinking, I told Ms. Juliet all about my pig and volunteered him for the kiss. Poor Hamlet! When I told him, he looked as if I was going to make him eat a ham sandwich.

I should never have opened my big mouth and said Ms. Juliet could kiss him in front of the entire school. I wouldn't want someone to kiss me in front of hundreds of people. Why would a pig feel any differently?

To kiss, or not to kiss, The principal in school? Why choose a pig To be their fool?

All the kids at school started reading. By the end of November, we had read 1,428 books. Ms. Juliet made us figure out how many more we had to read.

10,000 - 1,428 = 8,572 books

At least Hamlet didn't have to kiss the principal ... yet.

But I knew he was worried when I found him at the stove stirring pizza sauce, mud, and prune juice in a huge pot. I think he was trying to make a magic potion to stop the kiss!


(Continues...)

Excerpted from Our Principal Promised to Kiss a Pig by Kalli Dakos, Alicia DesMarteau, Carl DiRocco. Copyright © 2004 Kalli Dakos and Alicia DesMarteau. Excerpted by permission of ALBERT WHITMAN & Company.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Our Principal Promised to Kiss a Pig 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
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