Pig The Pug by Aaron Blabey
On a week where I have been working to turn one of my stories into a picture book, I spent quite a bit of time researching what mades a good picture book. And, coincidentally, I have a great picture book review for you.
I have been wanting to review Pig the Pug for a while. Partly because it has been a best seller on my book stall, and partly because of the looks of joy on children’s faces when they see the cover. Pig did not make it onto our picture book shelf when I was reading to Sam, but now I wish he had.
Firstly, what is supposed to make a good picture book. The experts, and there are many, agree on four things:
1) A fun or unique character who children can identify with.
2) Illustrations that support the story, and that children can use to follow the story when no one is reading it.
3) A strong story or concept told with few words and great images.
4) Re-readability – we all know how many times children need a book read to them in one sitting. There are still books I can recite from memory 10 years after having last read them.
If I had not read anything at all about what makes a good picture book I would love this book. Pug does not share, he is greedy and selfish and what he owns is his alone. This is a funny cautionary tale for children who won’t share, and a tale just desserts for children who know someone who does not allow others to play with their toys.
In terms of what makes a good picture book – well Pug is definitely someone children will have met in human form, and he is funny and over-the-top. As parents know well, sharing is a big concept for children to learn, so a book that handles it in a humorous way is great to have. A child could follow the story from the images , in fact this book could be brought for the images alone. I mean just look at Pig on the front cover!
Finally, the most important one for parents, re-readability. Well I have read it a few times, and I still find it funny. I then read it to Sam, and he thought it was a laugh, and I still smile when I think about the book. And all I need to do is envision the faces of children at the book stall when they see the book to see it is a favourite with them.
Love this book and I can really see why Pig is such a dominant character in the work of children’s picture books