As part of my professional development as a children’s book illustrator / author, I occasionally take a look at why other children’s books are working.
Anyone with a toddler will understand the sinking feeling the first time your child says the word, Mine! and grabs at a toy another child is playing with. Pig the Pug also struggles with sharing his toys. Trevor, his flatmate, tries to explain the benefits of sharing, but Pig is not listening. Unfortunately, Pig has no one to teach him socially acceptable behavior, so his selfishness grows just as his pile of toys grows, and then, not surprisingly comes the fall…
In the end, Trevor gets to play with Pig’s toys. But I get the feeling that Pig the Pug has not learned his lesson.
The big, bold illustrations are full of personality. Pig, Trevour, and toys are the only things we ever see, this focuses our attention on the core story.
The text is written in rhyme. I tripped over a few awkward transitions, as I read it out loud. The trick is not to read the words but to ‘act’ them out.
The story has universal appeal, (over two million Pig books in print!) Aaron Blabey has found what works.
WHY DOES IT WORK?
- A universal theme, simple story, delivered with gentle humor.
- A Strong character (We like that he is not perfect.)
- Big bold illustrations.
WHAT DOESN’T WORK?
- The font selection is uninspired. More could have been done to play with keywords in the text.
- Some text feels compromised to get it to rhyme.
- The layout of the illustrations is a bit monotonous.