Clarrie’s Pig Day Out by Jen Storer
Clarrie’s Pig Day Out tells a lovely story about a day in the life of farmer Clarrie, who has a day out in town filled with adventures and surprises. This story is illustrated with by Sue de Gennaro and the pictures are a work of art in their own right. On the story and the illustrations alone I would recommend this book, but they are not the reason why I love it.
I love this book because of the play on words that Jen Storer has introduced. Clarrie it seems cannot get his words out straight – “The sun is up and I have a lot to shoe. No I have a lot to poo. No, no, no. I have a lot to do.” That he gets his words mixed up adds another dimension to the story and for a person who loves words this is a real delight.
My son also thought the book was really funny and kept showing it to his friends. But nine year olds are not really the target audience, and I was worried that younger readers may not get the word plays. So I decided to test run it on a five year old and a three year old, both of whom love books. That they stayed and listened to the whole book when there were other distractions was a good sign! It was while reading it to them I saw the illustrations really come into their own, showing that they were integral to the book as a whole. The five year old was using the pictures as a visual clue to Clarrie’s actual story, and so found the book hilarious because she could see what Clarrie was really meant to be saying. The three year old enjoyed the story, but only found some of the words funny.
I commend the illustrator and author for producing such a well thought out picture book that tells a great story and gets children playing with rhyming words. Although I think younger children will enjoy the story and the illustrations, older picture book readers will get the jokes and love the word play. Still older readers who may be past the picture book stage seem to not only enjoy the story, but use the word plays to launch a whole lot of their own crazy sentences. For me this book has been a great find!