Subscribe to The Horn Book

Review of Little Pig Saves the Ship

Little Pig Saves the Ship
by David Hyde Costello; illus. by the author
Preschool, Primary    Charlesbridge    32 pp.
5/17    978-1-58089-715-0    $14.99
e-book ed.  978-1-60734 929-7    $9.99

Little Pig from Little Pig Joins the Band (rev. 9/11) is back, once again left behind by his older siblings. This time they are going to sailing camp without him; all Little Pig can do is stay home and practice his knot-tying skills. But then his grandfathers, Grandpa and Poppy, bring him a toy boat Poppy has carved for him, which keeps him entertained all week. Until Saturday, that is, when a gust of wind sends the little boat over a waterfall and downstream, where it will soon be lost forever. Fortunately, Little Pig’s practicing comes in handy as he pulls out his rope from his pocket, ties a bowline knot, and at the last possible moment scoops the boat up. This triumph eases the sting of his siblings’ return from sailing camp, as does the next adventure — a day spent sailing his beautiful toy boat with the whole Pig family. Friendly watercolors capture the hustle-and-bustle of a large family, Little Pig’s initial loneliness, and summer days spent knee-deep in a (beautifully evoked) pooled-up stream, messing about with boats. A profusion of speech bubbles adds drama, immediacy, and humor (an older sister hands Little Pig a postcard upon her return and says, “By the way, I meant to mail you this”). The intergenerational friendship between Poppy and Little Pig is heartwarming, and the open-to-interpretation presentation of the grandfathers in the illustrations (it’s implied that Grandpa and Poppy are a couple, but not overtly stated) is just right.

From the July/August 2017 issue of The Horn Book Magazine.

Martha V. Parravano About Martha V. Parravano

Martha V. Parravano is book review editor of The Horn Book, Inc., and co-author of the Calling Caldecott blog.

Comment Policy:
  1. Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  2. Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  3. Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.

We are not able to monitor every comment that comes through (though some comments with links to multiple URLs are held for spam-check moderation by the system). If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.

We accept clean XHTML in comments, but don't overdo it and please limit the number of links submitted in your comment. For more info, see the full Terms of Use.

Speak Your Mind