Friday, March 1, 2013

Of Pigs and Peanut Butter, Smiles and Books (But Not Necessarily All Four Together)

March 1st is quite the celebratory day as Little Known Holidays go - and in 2013, there are eight of them (that I know of at this time). Every one looks like a ton of fun, but with only so many hours in a day and only so much space in a blog post, let's split the difference and choose exactly half, and celebrate accordingly.

Let's start things off with National Pig Day. Created in 1972 by two sisters - Ellen Stanley and Mary Lynne Rave - the purpose of the day is "to accord the pig its rightful, though generally unrecognized, place as one of man's most intellectual and domesticated animals." 

Next on the list is Peanut Butter Lover's Day. And Share a Smile Day. Not sure what the backstory is on either one of these, but the porcine fellow below sees no reason why he shouldn't celebrate both - from ear to ear and elbow deep:
Last, but most certainly not least, March 1st is the day chosen by the National Education Association to observe 2013's Read Across America Day. (The official date for Read Across America Day is March 2nd - the birthdate of the late Theodor S. Geisel, otherwise known as Dr. Seuss.)

Well. Not wanting to be outdone by a multitasking pig (clever though he may be), I thought it would be fun for us to celebrate not just two, but three of March 1st's holidays, all at once:


Pigs

and

Smiles

and

Books for Young People


Why not all four? Um, well, I think we have to draw the line at mixing books and peanut butter in the same celebration. That just does not end well. (The last time I tried, I ended up with peanut butter on the cover of one of my favorite books. And do you know, a little bit of that peanut butter is still there? True story!)

But enough about my peanut-buttery past. Let's get to those books. Below, you'll find five pig-populated books that I've very much enjoyed reading and/or sharing with my kids over the years. For each one, I've listed the title, author and illustrator, reading level, and the book's Piggy Connection. If I've reviewed or posted in some way about the book, the title will be a clickable link that takes you directly to that post.


Pete & Pickles
Written and Illustrated by Berkeley Breathed
Ages 4-8

Piggy Connection: Pete is a very orderly pig, whose orderly life takes a sudden disorderly turn.







Arthur, For the Very First Time
Written by Patricia MacLachlan
Illustrated by Lloyd Bloom
Ages 9-12

Piggy Connection: Bernadette, Uncle Wrisby's beloved pet pig, will soon give birth to a litter of wiggly piglets. And when she needs some help, it comes from a very unlikely source.





Charlotte's Web
Written by E.B. White
Illustrated by Garth Williams
Ages 6-11

Piggy Connection: Wilbur the pig is the runt of the litter, destined for a very short life, indeed. But then Fern the farm girl steps in to save him, and Charlotte the spider helps him find his way in this world.




Piggies
Written by Audrey Wood and Don Wood
Illustrated by Don Wood
Ages 5 and up

Piggy Connection: Fingers and toes. Who knew these "piggies" could be so much fun?






The Three Pigs
Written and Illustrated by David Wiesner
Ages 4 and up

Piggy Connection: The classic tale of the Three Little Pigs gets a not-so-classic retelling. Because this time, the pigs are taking charge of their story.



* * *

And that concludes our little celebration. But the fun doesn't have to end here. Go on, enjoy March 1st in your own creative way, in all its piggy, peanut-buttery, smiley, book-filled glory. (But remember, you might want keep the peanut-buttery parts separate from the book-filled parts...)



3 comments:

  1. As a peanut butter lover, I sympathize about the peanut butter on the book. I've done the same thing. (*blushes*)

    Love your recommendations. The only one I haven't read is Pete and Pickles so I'll have to pick that one up at the library. I adore David Wiesner's THE THREE PIGS. So clever and outside the box. And CHARLOTTE'S WEB has always been in my top ten MG list.

    Interesting bit of trivia regarding ARTHUR, FOR THE VERY FIRST TIME. It's the only book still in print that I worked on as an editorial assistant at what was then called Harper & Row. And as the editorial assistant, one of my jobs was writing the flap copy. The other was coming up with a list of possible titles, since Patricia MacLachlan submitted it as Untitled.

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    Replies
    1. I hope you do read PETE AND PICKLES. I very much enjoyed it, and it is just a lovely story. More on the quiet side, which I think you mentioned before that you liked? I did a full review, which you can find by visiting the Reviews page, if you want.

      I remember you telling me that story about ARTHUR. It is a fine thing to be connected in that way to such a heartwarming book.

      I surprised myself with the number of books I have where pigs are a major character. I still have about seven others I didn't include for space purposes. All the better, I suppose, that lack of space - that way I can post another round of piggy books next year ;-)

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    2. I'll look forward to your piggy post next year!

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So, what's on your mind?