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Pig-Boy: A Trickster Tale from Hawai'i

Overview


Pig-Boy is hairy. Pig-Boy is dirty. Pig-Boy is hungry! And when trouble comes, he knows just what to do. (Of course, escaping trouble comes easily to a trickster, who can shape-shift his way out of sticky situations just in time!) With the tropical colors and cadences of the islands, master artist and storyteller Gerald McDermott brings irrepressible humor and energy to a Hawaiian trickster tale that's been beloved for generations.
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Overview


Pig-Boy is hairy. Pig-Boy is dirty. Pig-Boy is hungry! And when trouble comes, he knows just what to do. (Of course, escaping trouble comes easily to a trickster, who can shape-shift his way out of sticky situations just in time!) With the tropical colors and cadences of the islands, master artist and storyteller Gerald McDermott brings irrepressible humor and energy to a Hawaiian trickster tale that's been beloved for generations.
Includes an author's note.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"The boldly colored art is dynamic and reflects both the humor of the sprightly text and the author/illustrator's background as an animator in its visual pacing. The tale itself has just enough folkloric elements to convey action, character and setting without bogging down in detail. An author's note supplies bibliographic and historical information. Good rascally fun."--Kirkus Reviews

". . . lovely gouache-and–colored pencil artwork creates such nuanced texture that you nearly expect Pig-Boy’s hide to feel fuzzy . . . intriguing offering."--Booklist

"The text is nicely turned with a folkloric touch at times . . . The Hawaiian locale offers a pleasing new setting in McDermott's established folkloric oeuvre; the rich, jewel-toned illustrations, full of purples and greens, reverberate with island colors and tropical shades."--The Bulletin

"This gleeful, preposterous trickster is especially well realized in the illustrations. McDermott’s simple figures—set off by swaths of brilliant tropical greens and blues on a heavy watercolor paper that provides the texture he uses to give them dimension—have a monumental strength that in no way detracts from their humor or from the liveliness of Pig-Boy’s mischief. A rousing good story that should also, as McDermott suggests, arouse interest in the traditions from which it comes."--The Horn Book Magazine

"The purple trickster pig stands out against backgrounds of emerald green. People and chickens wear yellow-gold and orange, and the sea is a deep, bright blue. A note about the Pig-Boy character is included. This fine introduction to a classic Hawaiian trickster should have a place in most collections."--School Library Journal


Children's Literature - Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
Pig-Boy, a trickster hero from Hawaiian mythology, is born a hairy little pig, loved by his grandmother, who predicts he will be "filled with magic." If trouble comes, she tells him to "just slip away." After hungry Pig-Boy eats all of his grandmother's taro, he steals the king's royal chickens. When chased, he magically becomes a hundred piglets and slips away. Seeing Pele, goddess of fire, on a mountain, Pig-Boy sails across the water to seek her protection, only to be rejected. He then turns himself into a pig-nosed fish; the king and his men capture him when he emerges from the water, but he makes himself grow so large that he forms a path for waters to wash the men away. Small again, he rests in his grandmother's lap, dreaming of future adventures. The textured, double-page scenes of gouache, colored pencil, and pastel have strong dramatic appeal. Characters are set against different colored backgrounds to enhance the drama; the king is dressed in traditional costume. The huge hairy purple pig bursts out into adventures within the Hawaiian culture. A note fills in background information on the mythology. Reviewer: Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 3–McDermott continues his series of trickster tales with a simply told story about Kamapua’a, a popular figure in Hawaiian mythology. This little pig has a loving, nurturing human grandmother who wraps him in soft leaves and sings him to sleep with an empowering song about magic. “'…if trouble comes,’ she tells him, 'just slip away.’” Pig-Boy’s hunger is immense. He eats all the roots in his grandmother’s taro patch, then eats the king’s chickens, divides himself into a hundred little piglets, and slips away. He looks to the goddess Pele for help, and when she rejects him, he shape-shifts into a pig-nosed fish and evades her, as well. Captured by the king’s men, he again uses his powerful magic to escape and return to his dear grandmother. McDermott has omitted the torrid sexual relationship between Kamapua’a (in human form) and Pele that is an integral part of the traditional tale. Although this somewhat weakens the plot, it has allowed him to create a charming story that is clearly meant to be shared by adult and young child. Boldly colored gouache paintings on textured paper are softened with pastel and detailed with colored pencil. The purple trickster pig stands out against backgrounds of emerald green. People and chickens wear yellow-gold and orange, and the sea is a deep, bright blue. A note about the Pig-Boy character is included. This fine introduction to a classic Hawaiian trickster should have a place in most collections.–Susan Scheps, Shaker Heights Public Library, OH
Kirkus Reviews
Joining McDermott's other trickster tales meant for keiki ("very young children" in the Hawaiian language) is the tale of the shape-shifting pig whose annoying and greedy habits land him in endless trouble with both the king and the goddess Pele. Pig-Boy practices mais fica ("more for me" in Pacific Island pidgin) with first his tolerant Grandmother's taro patch and then with the significantly less tolerant king's chickens. The "hairy little hog" grows and grows and is saved time after time thanks to his loving Grandmother's advice: "if trouble comes...just slip away." He splits into 100 little piglets, transforms himself into the pig-nosed fish native to Hawaiian waters, grows into terrifying hugeness. The boldly colored art is dynamic and reflects both the humor of the sprightly text and the author/illustrator's background as an animator in its visual pacing. The tale itself has just enough folkloric elements to convey action, character and setting without bogging down in detail. An author's note supplies bibliographic and historical information. Good rascally fun. (Picture book/folktale. 3-5)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780152165901
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Publication date: 4/6/2009
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 729,306
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Lexile: AD520L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 9.10 (w) x 11.20 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

GERALD MCDERMOTT (1941-2012) was an internationally acclaimed author-illustrator of books for children. A graduate of Pratt Institute in New York City and a lifelong artist, he began his career as an animated filmmaker before moving into the creation of children's books based on storytelling traditions from around the world. He was awarded the Caldecott Medal and two Caldecott Honors; his extensive and influential body of work includes six popular picture books focusing on the trickster motif. Devoted to oral tradition and the transformative power of mythology, he was the first Fellow of the Joseph Campbell Foundation and served as a consultant on mythology in education. www.geraldmcdermott.com

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