I Dig This Pig

Few things could be more ludicrous than a pig in a tuxedo. Unless the pig is also a worrywart preparing to host the biggest social event of the year.  Such is the case in Portly McSwine, James Marshall’s 1979 children’s book.  

Portly McSwine by James Marshall, 1979
Portly McSwine by James Marshall, 1979

Post format: Q&A

  1. When is a celebration not cause for celebration? When you are Portly McSwine. Portly is planning a party to celebrate National Snout Day.  What should be cause for excitement is only cause for worry. In the days leading up to the event, he envisions all kinds of bad party scenarios from serving bland refreshments to dancing badly in front of his guests.  This last worry makes him jump out of bed one night, turn on his gramophone, and practice waltzing around the room with a broom. You gotta love it.  I mean I do at least.
  2. Why is this book a winner?  All generations love it.  Just reading the title to a group of first graders will set off guffaws, and the giggles don’t stop until the last page is turned.  Likewise, grownups like me can’t help but smile. In my world, hosting a party requires frenetic days, even weeks of planning, cleaning and cooking.  My to-do list grows more detailed with each approaching day until party time where it may contain even the smallest task such as “brush teeth.”  
  3. Where have you been all my life James Marshall?  Marshall himself died in 1992.  But not before he wrote and/or illustrated more than 70 children’s books.  However, I only discovered him about two years ago. One book reviewer called his stories “as profound as they are simple.”  Hear Hear, I say.

Question:  Do you know any children’s books that appeal to young and old alike?

*Click on comment button at the top of the post to reply.