Porky and Bess

Overview

Porky is messy. . . morning, noon, and night. Bess is perfect in every way imaginable—from her well-appointed cupboard to the figure eights she skates at the local pond. But somehow these two unlikely friends complement one another like tea and toast. So when Porky finds himself in a pickle—he can’t finish writing his poem and the secret ingredient from his favorite recipe is missing—who is there to lend a hand? Bess, of course! The everyday adventures of these two very different friends will delight newly ...
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Overview

Porky is messy. . . morning, noon, and night. Bess is perfect in every way imaginable—from her well-appointed cupboard to the figure eights she skates at the local pond. But somehow these two unlikely friends complement one another like tea and toast. So when Porky finds himself in a pickle—he can’t finish writing his poem and the secret ingredient from his favorite recipe is missing—who is there to lend a hand? Bess, of course! The everyday adventures of these two very different friends will delight newly independent readers who are ready for some funny, episodic storytelling.

From the Hardcover edition.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Claudia Mills
Porky is a pig. Bess is a cat. Porky is messy: "He liked bread that was three days old. He liked to keep it on the kitchen chair." Bess is painfully neat: in Bess's house, "the cups and plates were all lined up, littlest to biggest." Porky does not care for children. Bess has three. Porky and Bess are nonetheless best friends: Porky enjoys watching Bess's perfect figure skating on a wintry outing to a frozen pond; Bess helps Porky bake his special moonlight cake, substituting her box of "nighttime" when his can of "moonlight" turns out to be empty. So when Porky is trying to write a poem to read aloud on Poem-Reading Day, it is only natural that he wants to write it about his best friend Bess. So far he has written: "I like the warm and yellow sun. I like to eat a sticky bun. And when the day is at an end. . . " But all the lines he can think up to end his poem—"I am glad that I know Bess" and "I am glad that Bess knows me"—refuse to rhyme. Weiss and Friedman provide plenty of sparkling details for this classic friendship-of-opposites, and the young audience of new readers should enjoy being able to beat Porky to the creation of the perfect last line for his ode to Bess. Winborn's illustrations of stout, rumpled Porky and diminutive, dainty Bess are a delight. Reviewer: Claudia Mills, Ph.D.
School Library Journal
Gr 1–3—Porky, a pig, is a bachelor slob and Bess, a cat, is a single-mother neatnik, but they support each other through everyday adventures like cooking, ice-skating, and writing poetry. While these characters lack the charm and personality of classic beginning-reader duos such as Frog and Toad or George and Martha, they are pleasant enough. Each chapter offers a unique event, with the ongoing story line of Porky's poem-in-progress weaving throughout, though the pattern is jarred slightly by a single-page "Chapter three" in which Porky experiences writer's block. Chapter four offers the most whimsy, as the friends bake a cake that includes nighttime as an ingredient, but the book ends rather predictably as Porky presents a poem declaring his friendship for Bess. The names "Porky and Bess," reminiscent of the Gershwin opera, will amuse adults while having no effect on young readers. The warm, cozy illustrations have a Richard Scarry look to them, though they are less frenetic. Children will enjoy examining the detailed scenes, especially in Porky's messy house. While perhaps not destined to be a classic, this is a serviceable entry in the beginning-reader genre.—Heidi Estrin, Feldman Children's Library at Congregation B'nai Israel, Boca Raton, FL
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Product Details

Meet the Author

Ellen Weiss and Mel Friedman have written hundreds of books for kids of all ages. They live in New York City and the Berkshires.

Marsha Winborn is the illustrator of more than 25 books for children, including the popular Digby and Kate series. She lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

From the Hardcover edition.

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