Pig Pig Meets the Lion book cover image

Pig Pig Meets the Lion

  • 1595

Written & Illustrated by: David McPhail

Pig Pig's new pal

While Pig Pig’s mother makes breakfast, Pig Pig and the lion run down the stairs, through the kitchen, over the furniture, and romp around the house. Prepositions abound in this playful story, and an unexpected friendship is forged. But will the lion be able to stay, or will he have to go back to the zoo?

Look Inside the Book:

Author & Illustrator Bios:

David McPhail, author & illustrator

David McPhail is the acclaimed author and illustrator of more than one hundred and fifty books for children. He studied at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston and published his first book in 1972.

Read more about David.

Awards & Honors:

  • Bank Street College of Education's Best Children's Books of the Year

Editorial Reviews:

Publishers Weekly, starred review

When a lion escapes from the zoo, Pig Pig's mother finds out from the newspaper. Pig Pig learns about the lion when it climbs through his window and plops onto his bed. The escapee chases Pig Pig through the house (letting McPhail give a comedic lesson in prepositions like "into" and "down"). "If I found the lion," Pig Pig asks his distracted mother, "could I keep him?" Paired with deliciously deadpan prose, McPhail's spreads maintain a satisfying sense of movement and tight comedic sequencing as the lion skulks around the house before slipping out unobserved. Readers will have a blast being in on Pig Pig's secret.

Kirkus Reviews

McPhail's penchant for pigs hasn't ebbed, as he proves in adding another Pig Pig tale to his series; this one incorporates a grammar device.

The front endpapers and the double-page spread before the title page wordlessly set up the scene with visual clues as Pig Pig's mother picks up the morning paper with the headline "Lion Escapes" just as the lion climbs a tree outside Pig Pig's room. The lion jumps on Pig Pig's bed, they run downstairs into the kitchen and romp through the living room, and all the while his (blissfully) unaware mother fixes his breakfast. Each short sentence includes a preposition highlighted in blue: "the chair tipped OVER"; "The lion wanted to sit BESIDE Pig Pig." When Pig Pig asks if he can keep the lion, his mother answers no, but they can visit him in the zoo. The back endpapers show two zookeepers knocking at the door and the lion jumping out the bedroom window. McPhail's familiar style in pen, ink and watercolor is playfully infectious (notice the cat's reactions).

Kids will giggle at the striped-pajama-clad Pig Pig's silly antics in this latest escapade.

School Library Journal

Pig Pig wakes to find himself in bed with a mischievous lion that has escaped from the zoo. Our porcine pal's frantic attempts to run away are ignored by his mother as she cooks breakfast and uses her cell phone. "The lion is on the TV," Pig Pig declares. "Oh, that's nice," answers his mom, assuming he means on the news. When the lion finally leaps onto Pig Pig, loving licks lead to an unsuccessful adoption request. Even the promised zoo visits will be delayed, since the lion craftily escapes the zookeepers who have arrived at the door via a second-story window. McPhail cleverly highlights the prepositions in his spare text, creating a learning opportunity. His droll, watercolor illustrations escalate the comedy with spot-on expressions and scenes like the lion scarfing up the cat's food. Even this sixth title in the series isn't enough - encore!


Pig Pig is in for an adventure here! A lion has escaped from the zoo and winds up climbing through the bedroom window. And so the chase is on--with prepositions abounding--as the lion follows the pajama-clad pig into the kitchen, under the table, and across the living room while an oblivious mom cooks breakfast. McPhail's watercolor art is a frenetic pleasure, and there's no reason to be scared. Pig Pig has a slight smile on his face all through the ordeal. Besides being fun for reading, the boldface treatment of the preposition makes this a good choice for school grammar classes.

The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

The new tale starring old friend Pig Pig begins wordlessly on the pre-title page and continues onto the opening pages, as a lion escapes from a zoo and climbs up the tree outside Pig Pig's bedroom window. From there, the friendly lion enters Pig Pig's room, much to the delight of Pig Pig, who jumps "out of bed" and runs "down the stairs," followed by the lion. Pig Pig and the lion continue their romp through the house, unbeknownst to his ever distracted mother, and though Pig Pig longs to keep the lion, it must skedaddle when the zookeepers show up on the doorstep on the book's closing endpapers. There's a manifestly educational bent to this escapade, as prepositions are printed in boldface type, helping young listeners take note of this often puzzling type of word (most cleverly occurring when the lion climbs on the TV just as it broadcasts a picture of the lion on a news update, leading Pig Pig to exclaim, "The lion is on the TV!"). The focus on directional words is right on target for the developing verbal skills of the young audience, and youngsters will also be amused by the various antics of Pig Pig and the lion and by Mom's complete obliviousness to the lion's presence. McPhail's ink and watercolor illustrations continue to be strong and lively, with a loose, energetic feel. Cute Pig Pig, in his striped pajamas, and the shaggy smiling lion are clearly having a jolly good time, and their depictions is both joyful and humorous. Curricular and storytime use abound here, of course, but this pig tale is also perfectly fine as a stand alone story.


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ISBN: 978-1-58089-358-9

ISBN: 978-1-60734-080-5 PDF
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Ages: 4-8
Page count: 32
8 x 10

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