By Mira Reisberg
I'm so excited to be sharing this delightful book about the trials and rewards of a budding friendship. Pig and Pug by Lynne Berry and illustrated by Gemma Correll is a wonderfully quirky children’s book featuring a pug-in-a-purse and a pig-in-a-pocket. Edited by Knopf/Random House editor, Julia Maguire while she was at Simon and Schuster, who worked with awesome art director Lucy Cummins to bring this book to life, this book is wonderful on many levels.
As soon as they meet, Pig and Pug are off to the races, doing what many children are delightfully skilled at—pushing each other’s buttons. Despite their similar stature, Pig and Pug don’t see eye to eye and both Lynne Berry and Gemma Correll do a fantastic job of showing this in words and illustrations. Lynne Berry has a grand time exploiting the alliteration of the letter P, especially with names like Pig and Pug. The short sentences and teasing dialogue make the story very appealing to all ages. Gemma’s simple limited color palette and incredibly expressive characters (keep an eye on their facial expressions!) indulging in recognizably child-like behavior truly brings Pig and Pug to rough and tumble life in a way that’ll keep you reading it over and over again.
Note how the very simple clothing and limited color palette puts the focus on the character's expressions and reactions to each other. Also note the fun repetition.
Also note how incredibly simple and fun these illustrations are and how effectively Gemma uses relatable color choices for emotional moments - red to show anger (with a scribble anger cloud to emphasize) and black to show tunneling vision and focus. I also love the cropped close up when Pig sees black.
Pig and Pug's behavior mirrors each other to show the idea that people can be similar to each other and still have conflict.
And here they are from the beginning - Pug in a purse and Pig in a pocket. I'm not going to give the ending away but it has a wonderful twist that mirrors this image (and real life) in a really fun way. So if you like to laugh and play with language, take a peek at this sweetie!
We are so excited to be mixing things up at the Children's Book Academy. Mondays with Mandy or Mira is now the Blogfish!!
Here's our lineup:
1st Mondays will feature award-winning former agent and former kidlit professor Mira Reisberg PhD who is also the Director of the Children's Book Academy.
2nd Mondays will feature reading specialist and MFA in creative writing graduate Mandy Yates has been published multiple times in Highlights Magazine.
3rd Mondays will feature Bryan Patrick Avery, published writer, man of mystery, and professional magician among other things.
4th Mondays will feature the great Christine Taylor-Butler who has published over 70 award-winning fiction and non-fiction and nonfiction books including the acclaimed new middle grade series - The Lost Tribes.
And 5th Mondays will feature will feature the fabulous Carl Angel, award-winning multi-published Illustrator and graphic designer.
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