I noticed this picture book while out garage sale-ing the other day. It stood out because it had the “Dolly Parton’s Imaginative Library” emblem on it, but also because of the cover illustration. An angry fox and a dancing pig. What’s this all about?
I started flipping through the pages. When I saw the picture of the little piglet in a pot, being shoved into an oven, with a stalk of celery in his mouth, I thought, Gracious. How depressing. Why would any kid want to have this read aloud to him? The image was a little disturbing to say the least. But as I kept flipping through the book, I noticed something that made the fox-wanting-to-eat-piglet theme a lot less scary… and lots more amusing.
See, in this story, the fox does not sneak out and capture the piglet with stealth and cunning. Instead, Piglet “accidentally” shows up on Fox’s doorstep. Fox immediately decides to eat Piglet, and prepares to do so. But first, as Piglet himself points out, he could use a bath. After all, who wants to eat dirty food? After his bath, Piglet suggests that he really is a very small pig – wouldn’t it be smart to fatten him up a bit? And he is a hard working pig with awfully tough muscles… wouldn’t they taste better after being loosened by a massage?
In the end, the fox collapses with exhaustion from bathing, dining, and massaging Piglet, who bounces home and plans to pull the same trick on Bear the next day.
I laughed while I read this story. And while I read it, I sensed that it was a story my brother-in-law would keenly appreciate, so I handed it to him after I had finished. He guffawed loudly over it, which in turn interested my sister, and before I knew it, everyone was taking turns reading My Lucky Day. It was quite the fun half hour.
Conclusion. More tender listeners may initially be scared, but as they realize the clever trick Piglet is playing, they’ll be reconciled to his apparent danger.
Review © 2014 Laura Verret