Ian Falconer (Hardcover)
Genre: Fiction - Children's Picture Books; Book Themes: Animals, Family
Ian Falconer's "Olivia" is a Caldecott Honor award winner and one of our favorite picture books. Ian Falconer's expressive pictures are illustrated in black and white with splashes of bright red. The main character Olivia is an energetic pig who wears her family out. Olivia the pig sings, runs, tries on every piece of clothes she has when dressing up, and builds a giant sand castle at the beach, just to name a few. Ian Falconer captures the busy life of a preschooler with a humorous touch. "Olivia" is a good book to read with children in preschool and kindergarten.
Laura Numeroff, Felicia Bond (Hardcover)
Genres: Fiction - Children's Picture Books, Humorous Stories; Book Theme: Animals
If You Give a Pig a Party by Laura Numeroff and Felicia Bond, one of our favorite children's picture books, is a humorous story with great illustrations and lovable characters. The adorable pig in If You Give a Pig a Pancake is back with a tale of great party fun. The sequence of events starts with a girl's offer to give a pig a party. The pig then asks for balloons to decorate the house, puts on her favorite dress and invites her friends to the party. The pig's friends, a mouse, a moose and more, are attending a street fair, so the pig joins them for the rides and games. After returning home, the girl plays hide and seek with the animals. Children will have fun trying to find the animals hiding in the back yard. Then the pig wants a sleepover and the animals have a pillow fight. The story ends with the pig asking for another party. Felicia Bond's humorous illustrations are simple and delightful. This creative book can be used to teach the concept of cause and effect. If You Give a Pig a Party is a good book to read aloud to children in preschool, kindergarten and first grade.
Kate DiCamillo, Chris Van Dusen (Hardcover)
Genre: Fiction - Humorous Stories; Book Theme: Animals
Mercy Watson to the Rescue, by Newbery-winning author Kate Dicamillo, is a delightful early chapter book for beginning readers. Full of silliness and fun, this humorous story features a lovable pig named Mercy Watson as the main character. One night, Mercy Watson feels afraid when sleeping alone, so he goes in bed with Mr. and Mrs. Watson. With the added weight, a hole opens up under the Watsons' bed. The "boom" and "crack" sounds wake Mercy up and he runs off to the kitchen in search of hot toast with butter on it. Finding none there, Mercy goes to visit the Lincoln sisters who live next door. After a few comical twists and turns, two firemen come and rescue Mr. and Mrs. Watson, who think Mercy has alerted the fire department. Chris Van Dusen's colorful and expressive illustrations complement this easy-to-read story very well. Mercy Watson to the Rescue is a good book for children in kindergarten, first grade, second grade and third grade.
Jon Scieszka, Lane Smith (Paperback)
Genres: Fiction - Children's Picture Books, Fairy Tales & Folklore; Book Theme: Animals
"The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs" by Jon Scieszka is a funny fractured fairy tale story retold from the point of the view of the wolf. According to Alexander T. Wolf, everybody has not read the true story of the three little pigs. He claims he has only gone to the three little pigs' houses to get a cup of sugar for his dear old granny's birthday cake. He blows the first two pigs' houses down because he happens to have sneezing fits from a bad cold. The third pig says nasty words about his grandma, so he tries to knock down the pig's front door. Newspaper reporters distort the true story and frame him as a big bad wolf. Lane Smith's simple and expressive illustrations help tell a good story. This comical picture book appeals to children in kindergarten and first grade. Older kids and adults will also find it a fun story to read.
E. B. White, Garth Williams (Paperback)
Genre: Fiction - Animal Fantasy; Book Themes: Animals, Insects and Spiders, Friendship, Farm Life
"Charlotte's Web" by beloved author E. B. White, with illustrations by Garth Williams, is one of the best children's books ever written. In this Newbery award-winning chapter book, a pig named Wilbur forms a strong friendship with a spider named Charlotte, who also lives on the farm. Charlotte saves the pig's life by spinning words on her web. E. B. White creates a very memorable character in Charlotte. Children in second grade through seventh grade will enjoy this fascinating story and great classic children's book. "Charlotte's Web" is also a good animal fantasy book to read aloud to children.
Dick King-Smith (Paperback)
Genre: Fiction - Animal Fantasy; Book Theme: Animals
"Babe: The Gallant Pig" is a fast-paced heartwarming animal fantasy book by Dick King-Smith. After arriving at farmer Hogget's farm, a pig named Babe saves sheep from hustlers and wild dogs and goes on winning a sheepherding competition. The main character Babe the pig is lovable, sensitive and polite. Children in third grade through seventh grade will enjoy this wonderful animal story. "Babe: The Gallant Pig", whose book awards include Boston Globe-Horn Book honor book and ALA Notable Book, is one of our favorite chapter books.