Pig the Fibber, by Aaron Blabey

Pig the FibberPig was a Pug
and I’m sorry to say
he would often tell lies
just to get his own way.

The delightful (though dastardly) Pig the Pug is back. This time he is telling lies – big lies, to keep himself out of trouble and long-suffering Trevor the Dachsund well and truly in it. Whenever there is a mess, or something is broken, or there is a smell in the air, Pig blames poor Trevor. But when he goes to great lengths to get Trevor in trouble so that he can steal all the dog biscuits, Pig ends up learning his lesson the hard way.

Pig the Fibber is the second story featuring Pig, following on from Pig the Pug. But, while youngsters who loveed the first will be delighted to see Pig and Trevor back for another adventure, the second books stands equally well alone.

The rhyming text is a delight to read aloud, with lots of humour and a gentle lesson about lying, and the illustrations, in acrylic with pens and pencils, are also humorous. Pig’s big eyes and toothy grin make him endearing even when he’s being mean, and Trevor’s loyalty in spite of being hard done by is captured chiefly through the illustrations, particulalry the penultimate one which shows him hugging the injured Pig, a blissful smile on his face.

Lots of fun.

Pig the Fibber, by Aaron Blabey
Scholastic, 2015
ISBN 9781743629062

Available from good bookstores and online.

The Race for the Chinese Zodiac, by Gabrielle Wang, illustrated by Sally Rippin & Regine Abos

The Jade Emperor has decided to hold a great race. teh first twelve animals to cross the river will each have a year named after them. the animals are excited – but tehre are thirteen animals competing, so one will miss out. each animal must use their unique skills – or their wiliness – to get themself across the river.

The Race for the Chinese Zodiac is a gorgeous version of a classic Chinese legend, which is both entertaining and educational. Wang’s text captures both the excitement of the race and the character of the thirteen animals, and the illustrations are exquisite. A combination of brush and ink, linocut and digital media creates a satisfying whole with rich oranges and golds prominent. The design and layout makes this a real visual treasure.

First released in 2010, and newly released in paperback, The Race for the Chinese Zodiac is suitable for both private reading and classroom use.

The Race for the Chinese Zodiac, by Gabrielle Wang, illustrated by Sally Rippin & Regine Abos
Black Dog, 2012
ISBN 9781742032092

Available from good bookstores or online.