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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that the language is smart and challenging.
Is It Any Good?
Jonathan Heale's woodblock illustrations are captivating, but it's William Mayne's writing that grabs the reader with its playfulness. He turns the words as if they're on a lathe, shaping them to fit: "Go snuffly and diggy fat sweet rooties," says the sneaky Sowk. "That will happy me, Boark, my Boarky dear, from grunt to squeal." The pure joy of language is always present. And that joy is infectious: A class of 8-year-olds barked with laughter when they heard words like firkle and potatio, and then they made up their own words.
The watercolors, together with the woodcuts, keep the story flowing along. The tale's imagery might remind readers of Maurice Sendak's In the Night Kitchen, and Heale's woodblocks recall the presence of the title characters in Arthur Geisert's Pigs From 1 to 10.
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