This book is intended as a vocabulary-building tool for young readers. Written in rhyming verse, it begins in simple words children can easily understand, but as it progresses adds bigger words that expand the readers’ language skills. The author skillfully introduces the reader to new words such as “larder” for “pantry,” “swine” for “pig,” commercial terms “borrowing” and “repay,” “township” for the community, “omen” for “sign,” “distress” for “trouble,” and “carnivores” for wolves. As the plot progresses, references are also made to other classics of children’s literature involving “good wolves,” such as in Kipling’s The Jungle Book and the ancient Roman myth of Romulus and Remus, which will hopefully direct the young readers to such other intellectually stimulating reads.
The book is set in a distant, magic land where the differences between animals and people are blurred, and animals can dwell as equals with humans. It focuses on the Packfat Family, where Daddy goes to work each day, while Mother keeps house and attends to the children. Families are supposed to work together for the common good. But in this book selfish Piggy Packfat is only out for herself. Thrift is encouraged and the family work together to save. But their daughter Piggy only cares about herself. She “borrows” from the family savings until there are none left, which causes the others to leave her in disgust. She allows the once-handsome family cottage to go to ruin and annoys the neighbors with her wailings, until nobody has any sympathy for her. She stuffs herself with fattening foods and lets her body go to pot like she did her home. This makes her only attractive to the Wolf, who eventually comes to eat her. Piggy Packfat sets a negative example of what children should not be, much like the little boy who cried “wolf.”
What sets this book apart from others is the impeccable verse and vivid, colorful illustrations which work together to stimulate the young readers’ imagination while telling an entertaining story. Its moral message is quite clear: work, save, plan, take care of yourself and your business, respect your loved ones and others, and live a rewarding life—or else you may open yourself up to folly, like Piggy does.
- Welcome to the Tale of Piggy Packfat (thetaleofpiggypackfat.wordpress.com)
- The Piggy in The Puddle (choosingandusing2013.wordpress.com)
- ” We Are In A Book! (an Elephant And Piggie Book) “, Is Truly A Must Have Book (kidbooksreview.wordpress.com)