Perrier is a "pedigreed miniature potbellied pig," whose sparkling brand-namesake presumably implies purity and status. He belongs to a raven-haired starlet called Marbella, who totes him around Beverly Hills in a designer purse. On country vacations, Perrier usually sits poolside, but one day he meets some other pigs at a wallow. They tempt him to join them in the muck ("Good for what ails you," one says). Muddy and ashamed, he skulks home to Marbella and vows to "stay clean." But "try as he might, he could not purge his urge to sludge." Matje (Harry and Lulu) uses an elegant palette of warm pinks and grays on an expansive white ground; he sullies his mannered drawings with sensuous blotches of brown. Spurr (The Long, Long Letter) uses tabloid phrases to describe the high-class pig's lowdown habit. The plot may be familiar, but the gossipy voice and the outcome provide humor and a twist: Perrier hits rock-bottom, but bounces back when Marbella's mud facial masque and a trip for two to a Palm Desert mud bath enable him to sate his filthy desires and his uppity tastes alike. Ages 3-7. (Apr.) Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Certainly "no ordinary pig," Perrier is a pedigreed miniature potbellied pig, kept in ridiculous luxury by his movie-star owner, Marbella. When she moves with him out into the country, Perrier discovers the joy of wallowing in the mud with other pigs. But he promises the horrified Marbella never to wallow again. From Paris back to California, Perrier languishes, missing the mud, until Marbella finds an amusing solution to please them both. Matje's almost monochromatic colored drawings in a stylized, cartoon-y fashion, convey a rich visual narrative. Pig pink and light mud brown, with some grays and greens, amusingly create both Marbella's world of excess and the pig heaven of muddy mush. 2002, Hyperion Books for Children,
Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
K-Gr 2-It takes a visit to the country for Perrier, a pampered, pedigreed, potbellied pig owned by a famous movie star, to realize what is missing from his luxurious life-mud. Of course, the problem is only fixed temporarily because all visits to the country must come to an end. And because Perrier is committed to his life with Marbella, finding a happy medium between "pigness" and "petness" takes some creative thinking. Spurr spins a silly tale that at times goes on a little longer than necessary, but is charming nonetheless. Matje's sleek, modern artwork is the perfect complement to this very hip story. Spurr's sophisticated word choices ("gamboled," "paparazzi," "canap s"), as well as the somewhat abstract theme of fulfillment and finding one's roots, may be over the heads of the intended audience, but the author somehow makes it all work, creating a story with character and cadence. Her use of zippy, funny phrases such as "goose-bumped and tiddle-lumped," along with an abundance of alliteration, is sure to delight the young and the young at heart.-Holly T. Sneeringer, St. Mark School, Baltimore, MD Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
"Perrier was no ordinary pig." He's a miniature potbellied pig with a pedigree, a Beverly Hills mansion, and his own uniformed nanny in this amusingly quirky tale. Perrier travels the world with his movie-star owner, Marbella, though he is never quite happy and is always yearning for something to make him feel satisfied. On an excursion to their country estate, Perrier joins some farm pigs for a romp in the mud that leaves him feeling ecstatic, though his newfound pleasure is quashed when Marbella extracts his promise to "stay clean." He pines for the pleasures of mud, growing "pale and listless," until Marbella shares her mud-based facial masks with him, followed by a visit to a luxurious hot springs for his birthday to sample the mud baths. Matje (City of Ink Drinkers, not reviewed, etc.) captures both Perrier's wistful loneliness and his overblown lifestyle in stylish illustrations using sophisticated shades of pink, gray, and mud-brown mocha. While amusing to adults, much of the droll humor here will be over the heads of children unfamiliar with paparazzi, Perrier, and pedigrees. There's something rather chilling about Perrier's emptiness and longing, his hide-tingling physical ecstasy in a forbidden substance, his reluctant, repeated promises to "stay clean," and his ultimate satisfaction in an expensive consumer product and an "exclusive celebrity hideaway." Fizzy, but not very satisfying. (Picture book. 5-8)