Pig Tale

( 1 )

Overview

A warm sty to lie in and cool mud for a wallow are not enough to satisfy two bored pigs named Bertha and Briggs. Their minds are bent on money and riches. So when they find a treasure chest, they head straight for town. They buy dresses and suits, an expensive new car, and a house filled with gadgets. Now they'll live the good life.

But the gadgets cause a lot of trouble. The car breaks down; the washer overflows; the TV goes on the blink. Bertha and Briggs are working so hard, ...

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Overview

A warm sty to lie in and cool mud for a wallow are not enough to satisfy two bored pigs named Bertha and Briggs. Their minds are bent on money and riches. So when they find a treasure chest, they head straight for town. They buy dresses and suits, an expensive new car, and a house filled with gadgets. Now they'll live the good life.

But the gadgets cause a lot of trouble. The car breaks down; the washer overflows; the TV goes on the blink. Bertha and Briggs are working so hard, they have no time to play! Soon their new clothes are thrown to the wind, and two happy pigs head back to the country for a carefree roll in the mud.

Helen Oxenbury gleefully illustrates Bertha and Briggs bumbling their way through a life of luxury. And kids will agree that romping and playing beat mowing the lawn any day!

When they find a treasure chest in the orchard, two discontented pigs abandon their rural paradise for what they think will be the pleasures of a more luxurious life.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Money can't buy happiness-or so two greedy pigs learn in Oxenbury's (We're Going on a Bear Hunt) delightful picture book. Buoyant verse introduces Bertha and Briggs, porcine protagonists who "had plenty to eat,/ a warm sty with a thatch,/ an orchard to play in/ and trees for a scratch." But puddles of mud can't satisfy their itch for riches ("only then would they really be happy, they knew"). When the two pigs discover a treasure chest, it seems like their dream has come true. But the car they buy (from a Yellow Submarine-era John Lennon lookalike) breaks down, and their dream house requires constant upkeep. What is there to do but return to their old wallow: "To be careless and free and to romp and to play/ was all that they wanted to do every day." In a series of amusing spot illustrations, they gleefully shed their clothes and push the pesky car into a pond. Oxenbury proves again that she is a master of visual storytelling. In their tacky clothes, Bertha and Briggs exude self-satisfaction, then doubt creeps into their pudgy faces. Oxenbury mars these later images with ink splatters, smudges and scratches, highlighting the pigs' dissatisfaction. Her "less is more" lesson may be lost on children at the younger side of the age range, but the pigs' endearing silliness, coupled with readable rhymes, make a highly entertaining read. Ages 3-6. (July) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature
Bertha and Briggs have all that one would think two pigs could desire in life on the farm, but they are bored, dreaming of riches. Jolly rhymed couplets tell of their delight when they discover a treasure chest. Off to town they go, finding a bank manager happy to give them money in exchange. Then it is time for shopping for finery, a new car, even a fully-equipped house. They lead an amusingly typical suburban life there until one day when the car dies and Briggs has to walk back home. There he finds Bertha distraught from the struggle with all the modern appliances. Soon "nothing seemed to go right." The two agree to happily toss off the fancy clothes and give up the machinery to run back to the peaceful life on the farm. The moral fantasy may be a bit loaded with technology, but it is visualized with an economy of pictorial storytelling. Oxenbury uses her gouache, pen and ink to create an initially unclad pair of delightful porkers who seem to adapt easily to an anthropomorphic life. Scenes are filled with the props they need to demonstrate their skills as well as the messes they eventually make. They dance with joy across the jacketr as they strip down to be again "careless and free to romp and play." 2005 (orig. 1973), McElderry Books/Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing Division, Ages 3 to 7.
—Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781442421530
  • Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
  • Publication date: 10/15/2010
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 992,043
  • Age range: 3 - 6 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.20 (w) x 10.80 (h) x 0.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Helen Oxenbury is the renowned illustrator of many classic picture books, including We’re Going on a Bear Hunt by Michael Rosen and The Three Little Wolves and the Big Bad Pig by Eugene Trivizas. Ms. Oxenbury lives with her husband, illustrator John Burningham, in North London.

Helen Oxenbury is the renowned illustrator of many classic picture books, including We’re Going on a Bear Hunt by Michael Rosen and The Three Little Wolves and the Big Bad Pig by Eugene Trivizas. Ms. Oxenbury lives with her husband, illustrator John Burningham, in North London.

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted April 18, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Our Preschooler Loves This Book

    This picture book is one of my four-year-old daughter's favorites! And I love reading it to her. "Pig Tale" has an easy-to-follow storyline and great illustrations! Two pigs, Bertha and Briggs, are not content with their simple life on a farm. But their life changes one afternoon when they find a buried treasure. Ready for adventure and comfort, the pigs move to the city. Their excitement is short-lived as they discover that along with the thrill of new things comes worry and responsibility! The book ends with the pigs moving back to their beloved farm. "To be careless and free and to romp and to play was all that they wanted to do every day."

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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