CM . . .
. Volume XIV Number 6 . . . .November 9, 2007
In celebrated illustrator Joanne Fitzgerald's new collection of food-related nursery rhymes, piggy bids his partner and baby bye-bye and heads out to the farmer's market for a shopping trip. The loose storyline follows the cute pig's adventures through 13 traditional rhymes as he passes busker Tommy Tucker (singing for his supper), buys eggs from higgledy piggledy my black hen, samples Peter Piper's pickled peppers, and stops for a snack of pease porridge along the way.
The rhymes are left in their traditional form, with no modernization or changes to the wording. The illustrations, in contrast to the text, are sweetly contemporary, with piggy bringing recycled bags for his produce, the more masculine pig doing the shopping, and small snippets of modern Canadian content - such as a Mount Allison University sweatshirt - hidden within. All of the characters are animals, and all are friendly and endearing, from the bear selling honey to the skunk pastry vendors. The farmer's market is a lovely theme for this book that combines classic rhymes with Fitzgerald's detailed illustrations, and the pictures alone are rich enough to provide fertile ground for discussion, playing find the piggy, and word identification for beginning readers.
It is the soft yet very detailed pastel illustrations that tell the story, as the book contains no narration connecting the baker's dozen of individual rhymes. As such, the book is quite versatile, as it could be used as a storybook (with a good naptime/bedtime ending) for preschoolers, or just sampled rhyme by rhyme for the younger child.
Devon Greyson is a librarian at the Centre for Health Services and Policy Research in Vancouver, BC.
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Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.