Publishers Weekly - Publishers WeeklyLate one night, a young pig named Hamlet notices two masked men within the farmhouse perimeter. He alerts his older barnyard friends, Snoutbuster and Kernel Hog. "Break out the gear. Code `Curly Tail.' Let's move!" they grunt, sounding like official pigs on a mission. As they step into tight jumpsuits, each emblazoned with an "S" inside a hog's-head silhouette, Hamlet realizes their identities: "You're the Superhero Pig Patrol, Hooves of Steel, and Snoutmasters of Glory!" he cries. "Yes, Hamlet, the stories are all true," mutters Kernel Hog. Hamlet, ripe for adventure, dons a "rocket pack," a pair of goggles and a star-studded pair of boxer shorts. The three flash into action, with the untried Hamlet flying clumsy loop-de-loops; when the robbers capture Kernel Hog and make off with a big TV, Hamlet foils the crime by crashing into them. "The old hams... were in hog heaven as they hoofed it back to the yard," writes Bj rkman (Farm Life). Like Betsy Lewin, who pictures knowing animals and obtuse humans in books like Giggle, Giggle, Quack!, Bj rkman depicts his fearless swine in fluid swoops of black ink and jazzy watercolor. As the absurd action stretches over too many pages (it takes four spreads for the rocket-propelled pigs to zoom from wallow to house), it becomes clear that the author is more interested in porky puns than plot. Nevertheless, gruff voice-bubble asides like "Put a truffle in it" should keep readers amused. Ages 4-8. (Mar.) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Children's LiteratureBj�rkman has fun galore with his star porkers and with puns and word play as he tells the story of the night when the young pig Hamlet senses someone creeping around the farmhouse. It's then that he discovers that Snoutbuster and Kernel Hog are the "Superhero Pig Patrol, Hooves of Steel and Snoutmasters of Glory." They allow the eager Hamlet to come with them for on-the-hoof training. He straps on a spare rocket-pack and the trio take off to "fame, glory, and maybe a nice mud bath when it was all over." At first Hamlet seems to be courting disaster, but the burglars are soon hog-tied. When the police pick them up the next day, their stories are unbelievable. Possibly true? "When pigs fly," laughs the farmer's wife. Loosely drawn ink and watercolors keep the double page scenes as lively and funny as the text. Each pig is a distinct personality; the burglars are sneaky fools; all in good fun. 2004, Holiday House, Ages 4 to 8.
Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
School Library Journal - School Library JournalPreS-Gr 2-When burglars creep into Farmer Frank's yard, young Hamlet alerts two senior pigs that something's afoot. To the piglet's surprise and utter delight, Kernel Hog and Snoutbuster pull on superhero costumes and rocket packs and transform into the crime-fighting duo of "Supersnouts." Begging to be included, Hamlet puts on his "brighty tighties" and the three porcine heroes fly off to take on the bad guys. In the fun-filled adventure that follows, all unbeknownst to the farmer and his wife, the super hogs confront, apprehend, and truss up the thieves and save the day. Airy cartoon watercolors of the nighttime farmyard, slinking prowlers, and flying pigs sprawl across the spreads. In true comic-book style, there are word balloons in many illustrations and supremely silly exaggerations in the text. The story has enough action interspersed with a plethora of pig puns (including many groaners) to tickle children's funny bones. Youngsters who hunger for books with costumed superheroes will pig out on these swine.-Marge Loch-Wouters, Menasha's Public Library, WI Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus ReviewsBjorkman goes whole-hog in this farmyard free-for-all, matching two burglars against a pair of porcine superheroes and their freshly minted sidekick. Young Hamlet spots two men in black heading for the farmhouse one night, and it's "Code Curly Tail" for pen-mates Snoutbuster and Kernel Hog, who purposefully don colorful Spam(r) Dex tights and rocket packs before heading off to "fame, glory and maybe a nice mud bath when it was all over." Those rockets turn out to be hard to control, but with Hamlet's help, the Pig Patrol subdues the sinister sneak thieves at last, then heads back to the wallow; it's all in a night's work for these portly protectors of the peace. Big, loosely drawn, exuberantly brushed watercolors, and a hand-lettered style of typeface give the episode a casual look nicely in tune with its fundamental daffiness. The old line "When pigs fly!" takes on a whole new meaning here. (Picture book. 6-8)
- Holiday House, Inc.
- Publication date:
- Product dimensions:
- 8.80(w) x 11.10(h) x 0.50(d)
- Age Range:
- 4 - 8 Years
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