Product Code: 61093
Binding Information: Hardback
Ages: 5 - 8
Availability: In stock
Humorous, informative text discusses the life of a pig--from splashing about in the mud to opening refrigerator doors. Readers meet various breeds, both wild and domestic, from all over the world. Adorable illustrations capture the swiney splendor of each pig.
"Across the Fence, WCAX-TV, Channel 3, University of Vermont - June 30, 2004My guest today is Jules Older. Jules is the author of a new children’s book called PIG. PIG tells kids (and their parents, too) pretty much everything they ever wanted to know about pigs.
Jules Older wasn't always a children’s writer; in fact, he’s had a pretty checkered career. He's been: a clinical psychologist, a medical educator, a radio commentator, and a disc jockey. He once played a villain on television… and got hung for his crimes. He's an award-winning writer and is Editor-in-Chief of Ski Press and Ski Press USA, the two biggest-circulation ski magazines in North America.
Jules and his family have lived in New York, New Zealand, and Vermont. Now, he and his wife Effin (who’s also a children’s writer) live in Albany, Vermont. Their daughter Amber lives in New Zealand, where she's a radio producer. Her twin sister Willow lives in San Francisco, where she’s a new mom.
Jules has written more than 20 children’s books and five for adults.
Jules, I understand PIG was a Vermont production. What does that mean?
It is a Vermont production. I wrote it up in Albany, Vermont. Lyn Severance drew the wonderful illustrations in Burlington. The consultants were Northeast Kingdom pig farmers and UVM pig specialists.
On the dedication page, it says that you and Lyn are donating 7.5% of your profit to The Heifer Project International. What’s that about?
Well, a couple of things. I give 7.5% of all my earnings from kid’s books to causes that help children. I guess it’s my kind of tithing. Whenever we work together, Lyn does the same. On one book, we gave the money to the Vermont Reading Project. This time it goes to The Heifer Project. It’s a great organization that supplies young cows and goats to poor people all over the world. It doesn't just give them the animals; it teaches how to raise them and advises on using the benefits to help their village or their neighbors.
The book is funny, full of jokes and puns and hilarious pictures. Is it also factually correct?
That’s actually the heart of what I try to do in a book like this - make it entertaining enough so that kids will want to read it (again and again), and so factual that they become a mini-expert on the subject. I did the same with COW and with ICE CREAM.
Is that combination working?
Well, COW was named a "Pick of the Lists" by the American Booksellers Association. It was chosen as one of the “Best Books of 1997” by Rathbone Children’s Book Service. And a lot of kids have read it. ICE CREAM, too.
How much do you think our viewers know about pigs?
Let’s find out. Here's a swinish quiz from the book:
Let’s start with how many pigs there are in the world. A million, a billion or a trillion?
Which country has the most pigs?
What's the world’s smallest pig and the world’s biggest pig?
And finally, when does a pig become a hog?
OK, Jules, let’s have the answers.
Right. There are a billion pigs in the world. Half of them live in China. 60 million live right here in the USA.
The world’s smallest pig is the Pygmy Hog from India. They weigh about 14 pounds, and they're the size of a watermelon.
The world’s biggest pig came from Ohio. His name was Big Bill, and he weighed in at 2,552 pounds.
And when does a pig become a hog?
A pig becomes a hog when it reaches 120 pounds.
What’s your next kid’s book about?
I'd love to work with Lyn on another animal book. We and the folks at Charlesbridge - that’s our publisher - are trying to decide whether it should be horses or dogs or sheep. If anybody has a strong opinion, I wish they'd let me know.
How would they do that?
Probably the easiest way is through my Website. It’s easy to remember: julesolder.com.
PIG is written by Jules Older and illustrated by Lyn Severance. It’s published by Charlesbridge.
-- "Across the Fence, WCAX-TV, Channel 3, University of Vermont, June 2004
Kirkus Reviews - June 30, 2004This zippier alternative to Gail Gibbons's Pigs (1999) surrounds similarly simple, brightly colored cartoon portraits of side-posing porkers with labels, maps, snippets of fact ("Denmark has more pigs than people!"), and exclamation points. Older never quite gets around to explaining the common fate of all those farm pigs, but he does present a general view of their habits and predilections (i.e., food, mud, having their backs scratched), points out physical differences between common breeds, provides a bit of ig-pay atin-lay actice-pray, and closes with both a tally of renowned pigs and a helpful Web site. Another decidedly un-boaring look at livestock from the creators of COW.
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books - July 31, 2004Following upon the hooves of his COW, Older now offers a lively introduction to the patient pig. Numbered sections provide basic pig demographics, information about pig breeds, some important pig terminology, details about pig diet, etc., including a high-spirited and followable guideline on drawing pigs (front view and side view). Sections range from one page to several spreads, offering just enough information to whet readers' appetite for more knowledge (and perhaps ham), and the humorous, happy-go-porky approach will keep browsers as contented as a pig in mud. Severance's line-and-watercolor (Dr. Martin's inks, specifically, for that extra piggy pinkness) illustrations give her pigs a broad amiability even in their sparely lined simplicity; that simplicity helps keep the busily designed spreads, filled with insets, headings, captions, enlarged words and numbers, from being overwhelming. Basically, this is an inviting porky buffet, offering an overview of facts that may vary in their nutritional significance but are always tasty.
-- The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, July 2004
Publishers Weekly - July 31, 2004The team behind COW and Ice Cream porks out with PIG. Cartoonish panel and full-page illustrations of assorted swine from across the globe and a multitude of facts snappily delivered provide enough fun to keep readers in hog heaven. Just remember, "If you want to impress a farmer, don't say 'When will your sow have babies?' Say, 'When will your sow farrow?'"
Bay Views - September 30, 2004Which country has the most pigs? China with 500 million! That's the first fact in a 32-page look at pigs for younger readers. Severance's ink drawings lend dignity with traces of humor to the subject. Older's text is breezy, as though he's chatting with the reader, but he has packed in a fair amount of information. Covered are 10 pig breeds from around the world, life cycle, and other fascinating facts. Good for beginning animal reports or browsing.
-- Bay Views, September 2004
NSTA Reports - January 31, 2005K-4 students who are curious about pigs can read about them in Pig, by Jules Older. The book's information ranges from number of pigs in the world and different breeds to trivia. Some of the facts are presented over several pages; others, such as why pigs like to wallow in the mud, are offered on one page. Material is often presented in the form of a question.
NSTA Recommends - July 31, 2005PIG is another delightful book from the team that wrote COW. This volume is divided into numbered sections that detail the geographic distribution, basic facts, various breeds, interesting habits, and life cycle of the pig. There are enough facts for anyone who is "hog wild" or just curious about this animal.
This book contains almost everything you ever wanted to know about pigs. Each page is filled with big, brightly colored, cartoon-like illustrations that are visually stimulating. The simple, informative, and often humorous text is guaranteed to maintain the reader's interest. The creative layout of each page offers the independent reader a chance to look all around for little tidbits of information. Also included is a page containing "pig Latin" and one showing young children how to draw their own picture of a pig.
This book would be ideal to use if teaching primary grade children about farm life, but could also be used as an example when studying animal behavior or life cycles. About the only thing missing from the book is what people do with all those pigs (mainly, eat them). Of course, the book can also be read just for fun. It would be a nice addition to a learning center aimed at children in grades K-2.