Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
From cleaning house to rocketing to the moon, motivated porcine characters take on a variety of activities with aplomb. Ages 3-8. (Aug.) Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
Children's Literature - Wendy Ricci
Vivid watercolor illustrations and catchy rhyming verse make this a fun book for early readers and listeners. In this story, a bunch of mischievous "can-do" pigs truly live up to their name-children can see them doing everything from building roads, to rowing a boat to the Bahamas, to rocketing to the moon! This book is one of a whole series that McPhail has written about his amusing pigs.
School Library Journal
K-Gr 2McPhail's pigs are back, and this time they can do just about anything, from fending off shark attacks to charming boa constrictors to flying. They travel in space, tickle generals out of their warmongering ways, and faithfully stand by their friends. The rhymed texta catalogue of the animals' activitiesdoesn't always work, but the large, humorous watercolor illustrations shine. Readers will enjoy the pseudo-Superman and cowboy outfits, the pig-shaped water tank, and many other droll touches. Although this book doesn't have the surprise and sparkle of the title that spawned it, Pigs Aplenty, Pigs Galore (Dutton, 1993), it is worth considering. Laura Robb's collection of poems, Snuffles and Snouts (Dial, 1995), would partner it perfectly for a story hour headlining playful porkers.Marianne Saccardi, Norwalk Community-Technical College, CT
There's no plot to speak of in the latest wacky picture book from the master of pigdom, but there are still plenty of goofy goings-on to tickle kids. "Some pigs I know are called Can-Do's / (You might have seen them on the news). / They are bold and brave and true, / And there is nothing they can't do". . . ." Playful rhymes introduce a multitudinous cast of energetic pink, brown, and tan porkers, who go about their daily business--be it flying, cleaning house, or dancing a mean can-can--with glorious abandon. The illustrations are as robust and humorous as the text, with McPhail once again managing to transfer the nuances of human expression--from bemusement to pride to unabashed delight--to a bunch of swine.
There's not much Can-Do Pigs can't do. The multitude of things at which they are experts (or just expertly enthusiastic) is described in this collection of light verses by McPhail (Pigs Ahoy!, 1995, etc.). These versatile porkers fly, make repairs, rocket to the moon and back, and play bongos with a brick. They're not fans of war, preferring to tickle generals rather than to fight them, and only one pig's can-can abilities are interrupted by a fall down the stairs. Otherwise, Can-Do Pigs never seem to quit. They're eager to go rodeo riding, tree climbing, or camping out under the stars. They are, of course, the best of friends.
These pig tales read like a cumulative story-hour poem, where children and storyteller come up with activities they enjoy and add verses on the spot, putting the pigs through the motions. The frolics depicted in McPhail's watercolors, combined with the bucolic ramblings of verse, make the book a very entertaining read.