Zeke Pippin

Zeke Pippin

by William Steig
     
 

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Bitterly disappointed when his family falls asleep as he plays his newfound harmonica, a spirited young pig runs away'only to undergo harrowing adventures before he, with the aid of his magical sleep-inducing harmonica, can be reunited with his loving family.

Author Biography: William Steig's drawings have appeared regularly in The New Yorker since

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Overview

Bitterly disappointed when his family falls asleep as he plays his newfound harmonica, a spirited young pig runs away'only to undergo harrowing adventures before he, with the aid of his magical sleep-inducing harmonica, can be reunited with his loving family.

Author Biography: William Steig's drawings have appeared regularly in The New Yorker since 1930. He also writes and illustrates books for children, most recently Pete's A Pizza, Zeke Pippin and Doctor De Soto Goes to Africa. His other books include Sylvester and the Magic Pebble, winner of the Caldecott Medal; The Amazing Bone, a Caldecott Honor Book; and Abel's Island and Doctor De Soto, both Newbery Honor Books. He lives in Boston with his wife, Jeanne.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
This deeply funny picture book immediately joins the ranks of Steig classics. When a harmonica falls from a garbage truck onto Zeke Pippin's trotters, the young pig's life changes completely. At every opportunity he practices his scales (``even out in the rain'') until he is ready to serenade his family. But he has scarcely begun his premiere performance (``regaling them with the prelude to La Traviata'') before his audience is snoozing and snoring. Outraged, Zeke leaves home. On a precarious journey downstream he soon discovers that the mouth organ puts absolutely everyone to sleep. As he hastens home he is beset by bands of baddies with only his trusty harmonica to help him out. Sensitive Zeke with his musical hopes and wounded pride is a pig with plenty of child appeal-especially amusing are illustrations of him stalking archly away from his sleeping family (``How can I go on living under the same roof with such nincompoops?''). Steig adds some nifty wordplay to his already exuberant language (e.g., ``with the half-moon half helping, Zeke threaded his way through a confusion of trees and tangled vines''). The gleeful narrative simply sparkles. Ages 3-up. (Nov.)
School Library Journal
Gr 1-5-When Zeke Pippin finds a harmonica and plays it for his family, they instantly fall asleep. Furious, the young pig storms off and travels downstream on a raft, where he meets an egret and a boatload of tourists, all of whom doze off when he plays. He finally realizes that the instrument is enchanted and regrets his hasty departure from home. Heading back, he meets three villainous dogs that rob him and a wicked coyote that threatens to eat him. Both times, his magical music entrances the savage beasts and he returns safely to his loving family. Reminiscent of both Spinky Sulks (1988) and The Amazing Bone (1983, both Farrar), this is another whimsical journey into family relationships that focuses on magical objects and the ingenuity of youth. Zeke is an endearing character and his music leads readers into a delightfully zany plot. Steig's typical pastel watercolors, depicting pigs and other creatures with human characteristics and charming facial expressions, fill each page. No one paints quite like Steig-even inanimate objects exude personality and life. A humorous and heartwarming book.-Beth Tegart, Oneida City Schools, NY
Lauren Peterson
The harmonica Zeke Pippin finds in the street profoundly changes his life. Zeke practices with it every chance he gets and eventually wows his family with a brilliant rendition of "La Traviata". Just as things really start hopping, however, the entire Pippin brood falls asleep. When this same scene is replayed night after night, Zeke becomes so fed up he runs away. After learning the truth about his "supernatural mouth organ" while floating downriver on a raft, he starts the long, perilous journey back home. Colorful and cartoonlike, Steig's watercolor and pen-and-ink illustrations add to the humorous story. Although the plots and characters of Steig's books are beginning to seem a lot alike (Pearl the pig from "The Amazing Bone" could be Zeke's sibling, and Zeke's adventure is reminiscent in some ways of "Sylvester and the Magic Pebble"), Zeke's story still has some charm of its own. What's more, if it inspires youngsters to search out more books by the author, so much the better.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780606121361
Publisher:
San Val, Incorporated
Publication date:
05/01/1997
Series:
Picture Bks.
Edition description:
REPRINT

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