Pigs in the Mud in the Middle of the Rud

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It's mud season, but there's more than mud in the middle of the road: There are pigs, hens, sheep, and bulls in the way. That won't do. For a car to get through, somebody's gotta shoo! But who? Plourde's trademark style blends alliteration and rhyme into an elegantly simple mix that children-and adults-enjoy reading aloud.

A feisty grandmother and her family struggle to get an assortment of farm animals out of the road so the ...

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Overview

It's mud season, but there's more than mud in the middle of the road: There are pigs, hens, sheep, and bulls in the way. That won't do. For a car to get through, somebody's gotta shoo! But who? Plourde's trademark style blends alliteration and rhyme into an elegantly simple mix that children-and adults-enjoy reading aloud.

A feisty grandmother and her family struggle to get an assortment of farm animals out of the road so the family can pass in their T-Model Ford.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
First-time author Plourde commands attention with this winsomely silly, trippingly rhymed tale. When some indolent pigs block the road (or "rud," as pronounced in Plourde's native Maine), they halt the progress of a family's Model T. In an initial attempt to clear the road hogs, Brother "shooed./ And he squealed./ And he rutted./ And he reeled./ But the pigs didn't budge./ Not a tiny little smudge." Hens, sheep and bulls join the fracas, with each family member failing to shoo the animals. Finally, Grandma realizes, "OOOOO-EEE! Up to me," and, "with her hands on her hips,/ and a snarl on her lips/ ... yelled `Time for Sup!' " and the animals scatter. While Plourde laces her clever rhymes with funny, nonsensical words (such as "shmuffle" and "smarge"), Caldecott Medalist Schoenherr (Owl Moon) departs a bit from the resoundingly naturalistic style of his previous work to offer up deadpan watercolors of hapless humans and luxuriating animals. An attractive design silhouettes these figures against plenty of clean white space, in the process creating a visual syncopation between the art and the text. Punchy and full of verve, this is one story kids will want to hear many times over. Ages 3-7. (Mar.)
Publishers Weekly
Pigs in the Mud in the Middle of the Rud are cause for celebration in this book by Lynn Plourde, illus. by John Schoenherr, first published in 1997. A group of insolent porkers halt the progress of a Model T on a muddy country road. "Punchy and full of verve, this is one story kids will want to hear many times over," wrote PW of the original. Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature - Meredith Kiger
All the elements that make storytelling appealing to young readers are included in this period piece about a family in a Model-T Ford. Humor, repetition, rhyming words and a strong central character combine to tell the story of a family and their whacky grandmother as they set out on an excursion. What they encounter and grandma's responses will have young children joining in the fun. The minimal illustrations are a perfect accompaniment.
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2The book jacket states that the author lives in rural Maine, where a road is a "rud." Well, this particular rud has filled with mud and a group of smiling pigs has settled in for a good wallow. This is just fine for the pigs but not for the farm family that needs to get through in their Model T Ford. The pigs won't budge, nor will the hens, the sheep, or the bulls that also amble along. Brother, Sister, Mama, and Papa try their darndest to get them moving, but these are some very stubborn animals. "OOOOOO-EEE! Up to me," says Grandma "with her hands on her hips, and a snarl on her lips." Looking especially determined and unflappable, she clears that rud with an emphatic call of "TIME FOR SUP!" Covered in mud from "head to toe," a subdued Grandma determines it's "Time to go!" The rhyming text has a satisfying rhythm, and fanciful words such as "smarge" and "shmuffle" add a playful appeal. Most definitely suited for reading aloud, the story will also suit beginning readers. Schoenherr's watercolors successfully capture the animals' resistance and the family's frustration. While facial characteristics are frequently blurred or hidden, expressions are clearly drawn in all the right scenes. The delightful jacket illustration features a contented pink pig with its sleeping face on the front and its huge hind quarters with little curly tail spread across the entire back cover.Alicia Eames, Brooklyn Public Library
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2--When a family's Model T Ford is blocked by critters wallowing in the rain-soaked road, only Grandma can clear the way. A tongue-twisting text and scenes filled with gooey mud make for laugh-out-loud reading. March
Kirkus Reviews
The road is blocked by big pink pigs, and there's nothing to do but get out of the car and try to get them to move. But instead of budging, the pigs are joined by chickens, then sheep, then bulls, all equally reluctant to move from the car's path. The whole family gives up in exasperation; Grandma comes up with the perfect words to make everyone hop to: "TIME FOR SUP!!" The family piles back into the car, suppressing giggles at Grandma, whose stern facade is now covered in mud. The story is fun, but the language and rhymes make it rollick and roll, to the same rhythm the family car might make, heading down washboard road: "And he shooed. And he squealed. And he rutted. And he reeled. But the pigs didn't budge. Not a tiny little smudge"—words that precisely convey the conniptions of the brother attempting to rouse the swine. A wonderful frolic in mud and verse, and Plourde's debut.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780590568630
  • Publisher: Scholastic, Inc.
  • Publication date: 3/1/1997
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 9.30 (w) x 10.36 (h) x 0.37 (d)

Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 25, 2007

    My Kids Loved This Book

    Last year was my first year teaching - I had 30 Kindergarteners! They LOVED this book and so did I! I picked it up at the library and we must have read it 20 times last year. By the fifth or sixth time all of the kids were reciting the 'chorus' of the book. It was also great for reinforcing those rhyming skills. I can't wait to read it to a new generation of kindergarteners!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 8, 1999

    A Fun Read-Aloud

    I'm prejudiced since I'm the author of this book, but it's one of my favorite read-alouds. A repetitive chorus invites children to join in this silly story about a bunch of farm animals who block the rud (the slang Maine word for road). I teach children gestures to go along with the words: Oh no (put hands on cheeks), Won't do (shake head no), Gotta shoo (move hands away from body in shooing motion), But who? (raise hands to sides in a questioning motion). Another fun way to share the book is to turn it into a simple play with simple props (curly pink construction paper for pigs' tails, toilet paper tubes for bulls' horns, 5 chairs for a Model T). John Schoenherr's illustrations are wonderfully funny, especially the back cover of the book--which shows the big pink backside of a pig! I hope this book makes you chuckle--a tiny little smuckle.

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