A Perfect Pig Comes to Play: Review

I was ecstatic when I opened my mail box and found Anton inside!

Who is Anton? Why, he’s the star of A Perfect Pig, by author/illustrator Katrin Dreiling!

I’ve been a fan of Anton since I found Katrin on Instagram, where she posts her delightful artwork. She invokes such depth and expression in her characters, from animals to people alike. I was thrilled when she said Anton was going to appear in his very own book.

Except, Katrin lives in Australia and I’m in the States! I was so very touched when she sent me a copy of her book. She didn’t ask for anything in return, but I really wanted express my gratitude. So here is my review. (Any lighting or perceived warping of images is entirely due to my own camera–I didn’t scan, I just took snaps!)

Review of A Perfect Pig:

Author: Katrin Dreiling

Publisher: Scholastic Australia

Published: July 1, 2021

Pages: 32

Themes: Perfection, adaptability, friendship, perseverance, surprises

Personal rating: 5 stars!

The very first thing you should know about Anton, besides how absolutely charming and adorable he is, is that he really is a pig of perfect purpose. He likes things to be just so, from combing his side-part to arranging his “breakfast at a right angle on his plate”!

And he does not like surprises one bit.

I can empathize with you, Anton; toast popping up always startles me, too. (I love the Pig Gazette!)

Despite Anton’s proclivity toward order and perfection, his best friend, Lola, loves surprises. And Anton has a big heart, so he plans to throw her a surprise party. . .his way, of course. He carefully writes out a list in his beautiful, perfect handwriting.

And then he sets off to get all the supplies.

I’d like to take a moment to express how darling Anton is on his bicycle (part of a larger bicycling scene, here):

Oh, dear! Perils along his path were not part of Anton’s perfect plan. But he keeps going. When he discovers that the line is quite long at the bakery…

. . .it heralds a delightful montage of action and reaction as first one pitfall and then another assail poor Anton, who sees his perfect party plans falling apart before his eyes!

Yet what Anton doesn’t know is that he is demonstrating perfect perseverance: He never gives up despite the seeming ruin of his plans, and his inability to keep everything just so. He is thinking of his best friend Lola, whom he doesn’t want to disappoint.

I won’t spoil the surprise either, but I can assure you that you and the children you know will love the hilarious yet sweet ending–and so will Anton.

A thoroughly delightful read with wonderful detail and enchanting background imagery!

What does A Perfect Pig teach kids?

Anton shows that it’s perfectly all right to let things be imperfect. It’s okay to be a planner and want things to work out! You just have to remember what is truly in your control and what isn’t, and learn to adapt yourself and your responses to the situation that is versus the situation that you want.

Contact & Shopping Information

Note: As I write this post, Australia has returned to COVID-19 lockdown. This may affect availability.

Good fortune with #PitMad today!

If you are participating in #PitMad, I hope you have many agent hearts today! We have from 8 a.m. EST to 8 p.m. EST to try.

I started out tweeting all four of my current picture book manuscripts, but I may end up concentrating on just two for the remainder of the day. I am not sure yet.

If you’d like to retweet mine, here they are. Follow me on Twitter and let me know if you’ve got some to retweet as well!

You’re Never Too Old for Picture Books

A few from my collection–including my own!

Pamela Paul thinks that picture books are the real wizards of the literary world:

“With remarkable economy, they excel at the twin arts of visual and textual storytelling. Anyone who has ever read a picture book to a child has witnessed this magic firsthand. You’ll be reading along aloud and the child will laugh, not at anything you’ve read but at something she has read in the pictures. While you are reading one story, told in words, she is reading another, told through art. The illustrator doesn’t merely reflect the words on the page; she creates an entire narrative of her own, adding details, creating secondary story lines.”

-Pamela Paul, Your Kids Aren’t Too Old for Picture Books, and Neither Are You

Mind you, I think the literary world can hold many different types of wizards and wizardry. Yet along with other genres, I have deliberately kept picture books of my past, just as deliberately bought others as an adult (or had them gifted to me), and I write them, myself. The allure is real!

In my own personal history, I don’t recall learning how to read. I don’t remember any transition from the world of picture books to the ones with casual illustrations, or any subsequent transition to books with images just on the chapter headers or none at all. Books were just there to consume.

But since I retained some of my own childhood books, I’d like to think that while there was some adroit guidance of my reading, it was also allowed to unfold on its own. (About the only thing I do remember is my dad steering me away from the Large Print books in the children’s section of the library, telling me, “You don’t need those.” Nowadays, I do, ha.)

What are your favorite picture books? Do the ones you loved as a child still resonate with you today? What new ones spark your interest?