The Piggy in the Puddle by Charlotte Pomerantz, illustrated by James Marshall (Simon & Schuster, 1974)
April showers bring…lots of mud! Today’s Friday Favorite is one of my very favorite picture books to read aloud and it’s full of wonderful squishy, mooshy mud. Charlotte Pomerantz’s text is so full of tongue-twisting verse and funny not-used-nearly-enough words like skadaddle, willy-nilly, and squooshy, that it’s almost impossible not to laugh while reading (or listening to!) this book. James Marshall’s hilarious cartoon-esque illustrations show a very clean and fancy pig family, complete with a fez-wearing father, a tea-drinking mother, and a properly behaved brother, who despite their best efforts just can’t persuade the little piggy to get out of the mud. One by one, in playful rhyme, they each try to convince the naughty piglet to get out of the mud and get clean.
“Mud is squishy, mud is squashy,
mud is oh so squishy-squashy.
What you need is lots of soap.”
But the piggy answered,
I have a feeling most children can relate to being delightfully dirty and deliciously disobedient once in a while. The little pig’s refrain, complete with a loud capitalized NOPE! begs to be shouted right along with the text. And when father, mother and brother all fail at getting little piggy out of the mud, what do they do? Well, when you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em! This pig family reminds you to sometimes shed those stuffy inhibitions and just have FUN.
At The Carle Bookshop we specialize in backlist picture books. Backlist is bookseller talk for the not-so-new picture books that you often can’t find at other bookstores. We carry the fabulous new books too (make sure to read our weekly Top of the Shelf posts for new book recommendations), but we know what makes us unique are the shelves and shelves of picture books you remember from your childhood or books you read to your own children. Each Friday, we’ll highlight one of these special older titles in case you may have missed it or forgotten about it along the way. Let’s keep the picture book alive and loved, shall we?