Hogwash!

Karma Wilson, illus. by Jim McMullan. Little, Brown, $16.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-316-98840-7
"One warm day in early May,/ Farmer had a plan/ To spring-clean all his animals/ Till each was spic 'n' span." Thus is the stage set for a contentious barnyard rebellion that's more Click, Clack, Moo than Animal Farm. Wilson's (Bear Snores On) verse never misses a beat as Farmer tries to get his pigs to bathe, and the hogs make their opinions known in mud-spattered signage: "No hogwash for us today./ Pigs love dirt—so go away!" McMullan's (I'm Big!) pigs revel in muddy bliss as Farmer tries one ploy after another, finally filling his crop duster with water and shampoo and planning an aerial assault. When Farmer's plane makes an unexpected landing in the pigpen, he learns about the joys of wallowing. Kids will be plenty entertained by the lanky, bespectacled Farmer's many disguises (and escalating frustration), but the crafty, confident, and expressive pigs hog the spotlight in every scene. It's a highly satisfying story of "If you can't beat 'em, join 'em"; these two children's book veterans make it look easy. Ages 4–8. (June)
Reviewed on: 04/18/2011
Release date: 06/01/2011
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