A Pig Called Pete by Alan Bowater

Reviewed by Kathryn Duncan

It is always great to see children’s books that challenge the norm and, like the recently published Round Fish, Square Bowl (New Frontier), A Pig Called Pete does this is in a simple and entertaining way.

I bought this book at my children’s urging from the Sunday market at the Arts Centre, Southgate in Melbourne.

A Pig Called Pete is the story of an unconventional pig who travels the world. It starts by asking questions – “Pigs are Pink. Yes? No!” and lets children understand that it is acceptable to challenge the norm – Pete is not pink, he is purple. He does not like dirt, or mud, but most importantly, Pete can fly.

It is this ability that allows him to travel the world. This is a simple idea that resulted in some delightfully entertaining can caning from my daughter and bull fighting from my son.

Pete’s journey around the world introduces young children to geography and some of the characteristics of the places he visits. Pete climbs pyramids and paddles a gondola. My children asked a lot of questions, such as are there really gondolas and what’s a matador?

What I particularly like about this book is the message at the end – give children freedom and they might surprise you.

This book is suitable for the 3-6 year age group and we have enjoyed it as a night time story over and over again. The language also allows beginner readers to read it independently.

A Pig Called Pete, by Alan Bowater, illustrated by Pete Pascoe
Published by Alan Bowater and Pete Pascoe
PB rrp $15