Peppa Pig eagerly anticipates taking part in her school’s Special Talent Day in her third picture-book adventure. First, she and her classmates enjoy a long day of activities including counting, an ABC lesson (one spread features objects for each letter of the alphabet, giving readers a chance to brush up on their skills), art, recess, and music. Finally, it’s time for the class to share their talents, but going last means that other students have already jumped rope, sang, and danced. Support from her friends and an enterprising idea let Peppa regain her confidence. Peppa and crew cheerfully proffer a lesson about expectations, disappointments, and being resourceful. Ages 2–5. (June)
This spinoff from the
Peppa Pig animated TV series seems so much a corporate, commercial product that no individual human beings are credited on the book's title page. In the story, it's Special Talent Day at school, and Peppa needs to decide which talent to share. The first three-quarters of the book are occupied with the ordinary, unremarkable events of Pippa's school day with her alliteratively named classmates Pedro Pony, Candy Cat, and Rebecca Rabbit. The children practice counting, review the alphabet, play store, paint in art class, eat lunch, head outside for recess, and choose instruments in music class. The main problem of the storywhat talent will Pippa share?is built around the idea that talents are inherently competitive and exclusive, so that only one person can be "best at" something. So if Zoe Zebra sings and Candy Cat jumps rope, Peppa can't do either of those things. When her turn finally comes (only one page after the initial posing of the problem), Peppa leads her classmates outside to share her talent at "jumping in muddle puddles!" The text is insipid ("Then they get in the car and go to school"), the illustrations appear machine-generated, and the central "lesson" of the story (no two people can have the same talent) is deeply flawed. One can only hope that Candlewick Press makes a lot of money out of this cynically commercial venture, as their reputation for producing high-quality picture books is sadly tarnished by this uninspired offering. Reviewer: Claudia Mills, Ph.D.
Children's Literature - Claudia Mills
PreS-K—This simple, serviceable story is based on a TV series. Peppa Pig is excited about Special Talent Day at school. In the morning, the animal classmates count, recite the alphabet (in a spread with letters and labeled items, so young readers can practice), play store, paint, have lunch and recess, and finally share special talents. But other classmates all display Peppa's possibly unique abilities. When she gets upset, her teacher asks what she really likes to do, and the little pig leads everyone outside to jump in mud puddles; she declares the school day "very good." The text and story are clear and appealing, but unexceptional. The message-driven text is overly long for toddlers and simplistic for older preschoolers. The digitally rendered, full-color cartoon art depicts childlike, anthropomorphized animals who walk on two feet and wear clothes. They have circle eyes, round bodies, and stick arms and legs. Buy where the show is popular.—Amy Lilien-Harper, The Ferguson Library, Stamford, CT
A busy school day gives the Peppa Pig licensing team an opportunity to cram every bit of learning and labeling they can into this based-on-a-British-TV-show title. It's not just any school day, though, it's Special Talent Day, and Peppa has yet to decide which of her many talents she will share--singing, dancing, jumping rope. After a "good pancake breakfast," it's off to school. Before the students can share their talents, there are all sorts of things to learn and do: counting from one to 10, naming an object that begins with each letter of the alphabet, playing store, painting, lunchtime and recess, and music class (aka name-a-bunch-of-instruments-and-their-sounds class). Finally, it's time to share their talents. But what will Peppa do when she realizes not one of her talents is unique? She shows her class just what she (and every stereotypical pig) is good at, and they join in. The cartoon digital illustrations are bright and colorful and reflect the TV show's aesthetic, but they are not without their flaws. It's a good thing that characters' names include their species, since some are rather difficult to identify. Also, children may wonder why the larger and older Peppa is in the same class with her little brother, George, and what appear to be other younger siblings. There is not much here to make it stand out from other school-themed titles. Only for Peppa Pig devotees.
(Picture book. 2-5)