cover image PIGGIES IN A POLKA


Kathi Appelt, , illus. by LeUyen Pham. . Harcourt, $16 (40pp) ISBN 978-0-15-216483-6

It's time for the annual holler hootenanny, and these little piggies know how to party. "The drummer piggy hits a groove,/ he keeps the polka beat./ It's a hoopy-shoopy rhythm/ and the pigs all stomp their feet," writes Appelt (Oh My Baby, Little One). The star of the barn dance is Porcina, a Rubenesque chanteuse whose high notes make "all the bachelor piggies sigh." But the real show is in Pham's (Before I Was Your Mother) suedelike, digital illustrations. She crowds the barn floor with ecstatic couples—and an occasional singleton—carried away by the music and merrymaking (in one scene, a pig can be spotted floating in the punch bowl; throughout, a duck quacks with abandon). Hues of rose and gold emanate from the footlights and lanterns, bouncing off the walls and illuminating the angular planes of the pigs' plump bodies. Investing her porcine participants with an individual personality, Pham makes the pages pulsate with the heady crush and buzz of a joint that's jumpin'. Ages 3-7. (Aug.)