Digger Pig and the Turnip

Common Sense Media says

Warmly illustrated early-reader book.





What parents need to know

Violence & scariness
Not applicable
Not applicable

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.

Families can talk about...

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

Book details

Author:Caron Lee Cohen
Illustrator:Christopher Denise
Genre:For Beginning Readers
Book type:Fiction
Publisher:Harcourt Brace
Publication date:February 21, 2000
Number of pages:14
Publisher's recommended age(s):4 - 7

This review of Digger Pig and the Turnip was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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