Mark Teague is an award-winning children's book author and illustrator whose books include the NEW YORK TIMES bestselling How Do Dinosaurs... series, the LaRue series, FIREHOUSE!, FUNNY FARM, and many other humorous picture books. Mark lives in New York state with his wife and their two daughters.
Teague ( The Trouble with the Johnsons ; The Field Beyond the Outfield ) is once again right on target, this time skewering a subject dear to families everywhere with his idiosyncratic brand of sly humor. When his mother pronounces his room a ``pigsty'' and sends him upstairs to clean it, Wendell Fultz finds a large pig lounging on the bed (unmade, naturally). Unfazed, the feckless Wendell simply rearranges the mess and joins in the merriment. His mother gives up, and for the next week, Wendell cohabits happily (and untidily) with his newfound friend--and yet another porcine companion follows close on his hooves. But when a second pair of pigs shows up and the four of them start ruining Wendell's toys, even he has to admit that the mess is getting to be too much. Much of the tale's fun resides in Teague's quirky acrylic art (the first word of the text, for example, features a dropped capital ``M'' fashioned from dirty socks). Whether Wendell and his friends are jumping on the bed or playing Monopoly on the rug, their antics are rendered in the bold palette of a gleefully inventive imagination. Highly recommended for neat-freaks and mess-makers alike. Ages 6-9. (Sept.)
PreS-Gr 2-An amiable fantasy on a common theme. When Wendell's mother takes a look at his messy room, throws up her hands in resignation, and tells him he can live in a pigsty if he wants to, he is delighted. What only he knows is that two pigs have found his room so agreeable that they have moved in. He enjoys playing with them, even though he has to give them his bed and they hog his pillows and blankets. But even Wendell has his limit, and when they chew his baseball cards, he reaches it. His mother hands her son a broom, and in a flash of inspiration he organizes the porkers into a cleaning crew. Finding the room a bit too neat for their liking, they return to the farm. Wendell, having learned his lesson, keeps his room tidy after that-except for the occasions when the animals return for a game of Monopoly. Though the premise is not original, it is deftly executed in an appropriately humorous style that has great child appeal. The acrylic, cartoonlike illustrations evoke a time when boys played with yo-yos, electric trains, and board games. Teague's use of clean line renders the paintings easily visible for group sharing, but close observation reveals comical details. An enjoyable choice for story time and for reading at home.-Kate McClelland, Perrot Memorial Library, Greenwich, CT