Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Few picture books illustrate the ``capitalist pig'' concept as graphically as this mathematics-based volume does with its glorification of greed and gluttony. After gobbling up all the groceries, Mr. Pig, Mrs. Pig and their two piglets are hungry again, but the Piggy bank is empty. Deciding to hunt for money, the four swine gesture excitedly; then they feverishly root through their home for loose change and bills. Readers are meant to keep a tally of the dimes and nickels the Pigs locate, but they may be misled by the monetary sums planted in the illustrations (on one spread, the text describes a find worth $2.67, but the figures $2.32, $4.22 and $2.81 appear in the art; these numbers, we learn at the end, are part of a suggested math problem). Finally, after finding a grand total of $34.67, the Pigs spend almost all of it at a Mexican restaurant--math whizzes can calculate the tab by reading a menu. Although Axelrod's debut undoubtedly encourages useful skills, it is singularly unappetizing, while McGinley-Nally's ( First Snow, Magic Snow ) pudgy, stylized pigs and Southwestern motif seem garish. Kids probably won't have the patience for this book, and parents won't have the stomach. Ages 5-8. (Mar.)
School Library Journal - School Library Journal
Gr 1-3-In this bright and bouncy concept book, the Pigs turn their house upside down looking for spare change so that they can go out to dinner. Readers are invited to count along as the porkers dig out cash from the socks drawer, pennies from under the bed, quarters from the closet, and a five-dollar bill from the washing machine. Answers are hidden in the illustrations. The Pigs' reward is a trip to the Enchanted Enchilada. The whole menu is reproduced, complete with prices, so readers can figure out what the family can afford to eat and how much money they will have left over. A final page recaps all the amounts and shows the multiplication and addition necessary to find the answers. The vibrant illustrations are done in yellow, turquoise, pink, orange, and green. Those hues, along with the cacti in the yard and the Mexican restaurant, give the book a Southwestern flair. The Pigs are wildly dressed, from the daughter's fishnet stockings to the father's floppy black-and-white bow tie. After they have heard the story once, children will enjoy going back and studying the pictures. An entertaining tool for reinforcing math skills that should be especially useful in a whole-language curriculum.-Lucinda Snyder Whitehurst, St. Christopher's School, Richmond, VA
Mary Harris Veeder
TITLR Axelrod, Amy. Ages 5-8. When the Pig family finds that their refrigerator is bare, they, like many American families, decide to eat out. Neither elder Pig, however, has any cash. Instead of going to the ATM, they choose a more old-fashioned remedy. They declare a family money hunt, and soon they're off into drawers, under beds, and into pockets, where they find a grand total of $34.67--a sum that proves sufficient for dinner for four at the vegetarian Enchanted Enchilada. The story concludes with the pigs' return home, a "home, sweet home" albeit one topsy-turvy from the treasure hunt. The artwork is rendered in ink and polychromatic acrylics and is full of bright, rounded forms that echo the pigs' own shapes. A menu with prices is provided as is a final listing of the money that was found, making the book useful for launching exercises in money counting and planning. The Pigs' spirit will suit young listeners: arriving at the restaurant, the Pigs say to the waitress, "We're the Pigs and we're very hungry. What's the special?" A money hunt will no doubt follow a reading.