Tom's Tail

Tom's Tail

by Linda Jennings, Tim Warnes

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Jennings (The Dog Who Found Christmas) and debut illustrator Warnes create a barnyard's worth of likable characters in this unassuming but pleasant lesson in self-acceptance. The titular Tom, a pink piglet, dislikes his ``curly-twirly'' tail and would prefer a ``plumy tail'' like Sam the sheepdog or a ``long, swishy tail'' like Hannibal the horse. Tom's farm-animal friends tug his tail and ultimately cake it with mud to keep it stiff and straight. But Tom accidentally pokes his pals painfully with his now-pointy tail; when rain washes him clean, he admits he's better off with his original equipment. Warnes depicts Tom's adventures in opaque hues on fibrous beige or baby-blue stock. Although his illustrations are conventional, expressive brushstrokes infuse them with a sunny freshness. Ages 4-8. (Apr.)
Publishers Weekly - Publishers Weekly
"Author and illustrator create a barnyard's worth of likable characters in this unassuming but pleasant lesson in self-acceptance," wrote PW. Ages 3-7. (Sept.) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature
Tom the piglet thinks his curly tail looks silly. The other animals on the farm try to help him straighten his tail by stepping on it and pulling it, but Tom only ends up with a sore, curly tail. The cow's solution to cover Tom's tail in mud and let it dry works, but the tail is so sharp that it pokes and pricks Tom's brothers and sisters. When the mud washes off, Tom decides he likes his curly tail, but would prefer a more elegant nose. Preschoolers will enjoy Tom's antics as he tries to do the impossible. However, more trials leading up to Tom's temporary solution would have added to the humor. The illustrations are bright, colorful and as playful as the story's tone. It is a relief that the author does not moralize about loving yourself as you are. Youngsters will laugh when they realize that Tom has not learned his lesson. 2003 (orig. 1995), Tiger Tales/ME Media, Ages 3 to 6.
—Laura Shovan
School Library Journal - School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2-Children who have wished for something they cannot have will sympathize with Tom the piglet, who longs for a straight tail. The other animals, exasperated by his complaints, make several attempts to help him uncurl it, but nothing works until Geraldine the Jersey cow suggests they stretch it out and submerge it in the mud. The mud dries, and lo, Tom has the tail of his dreams. But its sharp point pokes his brothers and sisters and makes life so impossible that he is turned out of the sty and forced to remain alone-until a driving rain washes off the mud and restores his tail to its original shape. Warnes's cartoon illustrations, done on textured paper, are large with white borders and alive with the bright colors of springtime. Text and pictures work in perfect harmony. As an added bonus, a small blue butterfly flits from scene to scene among the comic animals, ready to be spotted by observant readers. And the ironic twist on the last page will help them feel much wiser than a piglet who just doesn't seem to learn his lesson. A perfect read-aloud, this is one barnyard youngsters will want to visit often.-Marianne Saccardi, Norwalk Community-Technical College, CT

Product Details

ME Media, LLC
Publication date:
Edition description:
Product dimensions:
10.20(w) x 8.80(h) x 0.20(d)
Age Range:
3 - 7 Years

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