Kasza (The Wolf's Chicken Stew) introduces another ravenous creature in this witty twist on a familiar theme. While sharpening his claws to hunt for his breakfast, a not-so-sly fox answers a knock on his door and finds a tasty-looking piglet. "This must be my lucky day!... How often does dinner come knocking on the door?" he exclaims, grabbing both the pig and a roasting pan. But when the quick-thinking, dirty piglet suggests that he would be a better meal if he were clean, the fox prepares him a soothing bath. When the piglet comments that he would provide more meat if he were fatter, the fox dons a chef's hat and serves up spaghetti and freshly baked cookies. And when, nestled in the roasting pan surrounded by vegetables and being placed in the oven, the piglet reflects that he would make a more tender roast if he had a massage, the fox complies. Exhausted from his exertions, the fox collapses on the floor, leaving the piglet to skip home-with the rest of the cookies-proclaiming, "This must be my lucky day." In a final funny flourish, the last page shows the pig relaxing in front of a fire, reading a directory of other predators (with the fox's name crossed out), wondering whom he will visit next. Kasza's gouache art is as buoyant and comical as her narrative, and she skillfully uses multiple vignettes to convey the fox's arduous preparations. The animals' facial expressions alone could carry this tale. Ages 4-8. (Sept.) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
As a hungry fox was preparing to hunt for his dinner, he heard a knock on the door. It was a "delicious-looking piglet." Declaring that it must be his lucky day, the fox begins dinner preparations, but the pig quickly points out that he is quite dirty. Fox collects wood, builds a fire, and fetches water. The piglet is being salt and peppered in the pan when he points out his small size. The fox then gathers tomatoes, makes spaghetti, and bakes cookies. The day continues with fox running and fetching and with the pig getting bathed, fed, and massaged. Guess whose lucky day it really was! "Dinner" turned out to be a wily fellow and perhaps the entire day was a set-up. The delightful tale is sure to appeal to children and adults alike. Playful illustrations and wonderful animal expressions capture the fun in this rollicking tale. 2003, GP Putnam's Sons, Ages 4 to 8.
PreS-Gr 2-Fans of the author's The Wolf's Chicken Stew (Putnam, 1987) will not be disappointed by this amusing offering. A hungry fox is sure that it's his lucky day when a delectable-looking pig knocks on his door by mistake. Mr. Fox grabs his squealing guest and starts to prepare a feast, but the pig asks him to wait, pointing out, "I'm filthy. Shouldn't you wash me first?" The fox prepares a lovely bath and the pig compliments him on being "a terrific scrubber." But then, the pig continues, shouldn't he be fattened up a bit? And shouldn't he be massaged so that he won't be tough? Mr. Fox grudgingly complies with these requests and soon finds himself so exhausted that "He couldn't lift a finger, let alone a roasting pan." The pig heads home, clean, well fed, relaxed, and ready to plan his next call on an unsuspecting predator. Set against white backgrounds, the lively gouache illustrations enhance the humorous and witty text. The fox's facial expressions clearly reflect his range of emotions, as he goes from sheer elation to pure exhaustion. He is as gullible and endearing as the pig is sly and charming. A good choice for storyhours as well as one-on-one readings.-Wendy Woodfill, Hennepin County Library, Minnetonka, MN Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
It's become predictable, this story of the pig outfoxing the fox, but Kasza's version does sport his lively art and a measure of dry humor. When a piglet comes knocking on Mr. Fox's door, the fox can't believe his luck; he's not used to delivery service. The piglet is just about to be tucked in the oven, when he suggests a few improvements to Mr. Fox. Wouldn't he taste better if he were washed first-"Just a thought, Mr. Fox"-and plumped up and perhaps massaged to tenderize the meat? The fox agrees that he would, rushing madly about scrubbing, feeding, and working the piglet's tissues, and promptly falling into an exhausted swoon. The pig is last seen back in his pen, thumbing through his address book-Mr. Bear, Mr. Wolf, Mr. Coyote-getting ready to work the same ruse on another carnivore. Fun enough, though no self-respecting four-year-old will be very worried about this little porker's fate. (Picture book. 4-7)