When the Pigs Took Over

Overview

Here is a riotous tale of two brothers-one small but enormously sensible, one big but a little crazy-told with the warmth and sprinkling of Spanish found in the author's other beloved, groundbreaking books, Abuela and Isla.

Don Carlos always likes more. "ÁM&aacutes!" he says. More! More what? More of anything: He likes to wear more hats (sometimes ten at a time). He likes more ice cream (he'll eat several cones at once). But most of all, he likes to serve more at his ...

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Overview

Here is a riotous tale of two brothers-one small but enormously sensible, one big but a little crazy-told with the warmth and sprinkling of Spanish found in the author's other beloved, groundbreaking books, Abuela and Isla.

Don Carlos always likes more. "ÁM&aacutes!" he says. More! More what? More of anything: He likes to wear more hats (sometimes ten at a time). He likes more ice cream (he'll eat several cones at once). But most of all, he likes to serve more at his restaurant, the only one in town. People love to eat his huge platters of food and listen to his little brother Alonzo's beautiful violin playing. But, never content, Don Carlos decides to add another dish to his menu-caracoles, snails. Unfortunately, the snails have their own dining plans, and soon the town is overrun by plague after plague of greedy animals. It's up to little Alonzo to clean up his brother's latest, greatest excess.

Diane Greenseid's illustrations glow with the sun-baked colors of the American Southwest, providing a setting as zesty as this flavorful tale. Like Don Carlos, readers will just want MORE.

Don Carlos likes to do everything in a big way, but his idea to serve lots of snails in his restaurant nearly destroys the whole village.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
A surfeit of snails, a bevy of blackbirds and a plethora of pigs take turns overrunning a New Mexican town in Dorros's (Abuela) comic tale of two very different siblings. Grandiose restaurateur Don Carlos (wearing several hats, turquoise boots and an oversize monogrammed belt buckle) applies his more-is-better-thinking to the menu, adding snails to the lineup and sets off an entire chain of events. He enlists his violin-playing (and more pragmatic) younger brother, Alonzo, to gather wheelbarrows full of the gastropods. Greenseid's (Mrs. Piccolo's Easy Chair) cheery paintings, saturated in fiesta-bright colors, inject hilarity into the proceedings. Slightly plump people and edifices recoil from the infestation of caracoles winding among the village streets. Alonso suggests they bring in birds to eat the snails, and then pigs. Each time, Don Carlos calls for m s, with disastrous results: in one spread, frantic townsfolk hide under umbrellas and in garbage cans while birds nest atop heads and commandeer a baby carriage. Other vignettes chronicle the pigs' pursuit of food as they topple iceboxes, upend barrels and break dishes in the restaurant. With a variation on the Pied Piper theme, Alonzo leads the villagers in a band to expel the swine; the people pick up instruments and their cacophonous tunes do the trick. Spiced with Spanish phrases, this story and its clever ending will have children calling for m s when it's through. Ages 4-8. (Feb.) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Children's Literature
Alonzo and his older brother Don Carlos live in Mexico. Like many older brothers, Don Carlos always wants more of everything than Alonzo. He wants more hats, more ice cream, and more food. At the restaurant where Don Carlos works, he causes a lot of trouble by gathering too many snails for the customers to eat. When the snails run loose all over the restaurant, Don Carlos gathers birds to eat the snails. Throughout the book, Don Carlos's obsession with gathering too many of everything continues to get him into trouble. Finally, Don Carlos realizes that his greed has caused too many problems in the village. Eventually, Don Carlos realizes that "more is not always better." The illustrations in this book create more humor to accompany the already funny story. The bright colors make it attractive and enjoyable, and the use of Spanish words in the text make it educational as well as recreational. Dorros provides translations for the Spanish words at the beginning of the story to help those of us who do not speak Spanish. 2002 Dutton Children's Books, McCall
School Library Journal
K-Gr 2-Don Carlos is one flamboyant dude. He always goes just a bit over the top, whether he's wearing seven hats at once, eating four ice-cream cones at a time, or deciding to expand the menu at his restaurant. "M s!" "More!" is his constant refrain. His much younger brother, Alonzo, is the polar opposite-the soul of restraint. Believing in common sense and moderation, he indulges in only one thing-extravagant violin playing at the restaurant. He tries continually (and unsuccessfully) to rein in Don Carlos, but to no avail. However, when Carlos decides he simply must serve snails as one of his entr es, he begins a chain of events that results in a change for both brothers. This humorous, gentle story smoothly incorporates Spanish words and phrases (defined, with pronunciation, in the glossary at the front of the book) into a rollicking narrative that will carry young listeners with it. Greenseid's antic, primitive acrylic illustrations in bright, hot colors provide a fitting accompaniment to this jazzy tale. Pair this story with Margot Zemach's It Could Always Be Worse (Farrar, 1990) for a look at the nature of surfeit and the lessons it teaches.-Ann Welton, Grant Elementary School, Tacoma, WA Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Dorros (Ten Go Tango, 2000, etc.) lets loose his usual bright humor, lively narrative, and momentum-here paired with the shining colors and kinetic characters in Greenseid's (Chicken For a Day, not reviewed, etc.) art-but he beats an aggravating one-note tune with his Spanish lesson. Don Carlos can't get enough, of everything: hats, ice cream, music, or choices of dishes for the menu at his village restaurant. Mas, mas, mas is his leitmotif. When his younger brother, Alonzo, suggests that Don Carlos serve snails in his restaurant, he orders wheelbarrow loads: "Mas." When the profusion of snails run amok, Alonzo recommends birds to control them. "Mas," commands Don Carlos, then lots of pigs to control the birds. "Mas." Only when Alonzo forms a band-a bunch of dreadful hacks to accompany his heavenly violin-to serenade the pigs out of town, a la the Pied Piper, does Don Carlos beg for less: less earsplitting music. The point, of course, is that more is not necessarily better-in this case never, and the same applies to Don Carlos, whom readers will have had enough of shortly after his introduction. Thanks then to the rest of the trippingly fun story for keeping the book afloat. (Picture book. 4-8)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780525420309
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 2/28/2002
  • Edition description: 1 ED
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 10 - 14 Years
  • Product dimensions: 9.38 (w) x 11.36 (h) x 0.42 (d)

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