Digger Pig and the Turnip

Book review by
Mary LeCompte, Common Sense Media
Digger Pig and the Turnip Book Poster Image
Warmly illustrated early-reader book.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Violence & Scariness

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that the story is derivative of The Little Red Hen The writing, filled with dialogue and repetition, is well suited for young readers. Colored-pencil drawings are soft and endearing.

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What's the story?

Digger Pig is preparing turnip pie. Who will help her? "Not I," say Chirper Chick, Quacker Duck, and Bow-Wow Dog, so Digger Pig is left to make the pie all by herself. But guess who shows up for a slice at dinnertime? Readers will easily identify the inspiration for this familiar and warmly illustrated early-reader book.


Is it any good?

DIGGER PIG AND THE TURNIP is not very surprising, funny, or original, but it does help kids hone early-reading skills. In addition to employing abundant dialogue, the book uses repetition of phrases and one or two challenging or unfamiliar words that may require sounding out, like the names Chirper and Quacker.

One six-year-old got as far as page five before she realized the story's inspiration. "Hey, this is just like 'Little Red Hen'!" Rather than being confused or discouraged, she was interested enough in the new slant on an old favorite to be willing to read the book again. This young critic liked how the pictures were "painted softly" (an effect illustrator Christopher Denise accomplished using colored pencils). The images, with faded edges, blend into their white backgrounds.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about helping. Why don't the animals get to share in enjoying the turnips?

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