Sunday, November 15, 2009

The Pristine Pig by Curly Tail

The Pristine Pig by Curly Tail is one of the Pencil Play Pals books by Norman Childes. Percy the Pig is different from the other pigs, because he absolutely despises getting dirty. This embarrasses his brothers and sisters, who are absolutely determined to make him as dirty as they are, no matter what it takes. They scheme and plot to get Percy filthy, which of course, greatly upsets him.

At the same time, Percy strives to find new ways of dealing with farm life, without getting dirty. He uses a straw to drink his mother's milk, and tries to walk around on stilts. Some animals make fun of him; the mouse tells him it is okay to be different.

Percy discovers that going for a swim is a great way to stay clean. While he is out swimming, his siblings try to throw mud at him. One slips and falls into the water. Of course, he cannot swim, and Percy saves him. With new appreciation for their pristine sibling, the other pigs now strive to find ways to help Percy stay clean.

I enjoyed this book much more than the other book in the series I read. This story is very cute. It demonstrates that it is okay to be different and to believe in yourself. The meanness of his siblings is a great starting point for conversations about being kind to others. And children can easily be inspired to come up with their own creative ways for Percy to stay clean, while simultaneously strategizing their own hygenic behaviors. A few pig facts at the end of the book can help it tie into a unit on farm animals.

The purpose of the Pencil Play Pals series is to inspire children to draw and write their own stories as part of literary habits. I think this book is a great way for children to do so.

Visit Norman Childes' website for more Pencil Play Pals fun at

Stay tuned for an interview with Norman Childes.

Purchase The Pristine Pig

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