Kids delight in the pigs and their messiness.

What parents need to know

Violence & scariness
Not applicable
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that the cartoonlike illustrations and simple text have broad appeal. Children are delighted by the pigs and their messiness, and the outcome is satisfying.

What's the story?

Pigs, pigs, pigs! Pigs lying on the bed. Pigs performing music. Pigs playing Monopoly. Wendell's messy room lures one pig, then others--all of them messier than he is. This hilarious story answers the question, "What happens if a child never cleans his room?"

Is it any good?


Parents who have ever called their child's room a pigsty -- and children who have ever wished their parents would stop nagging them to clean it up -- can enjoy seeing both ideas carried to a silly extreme. As an enjoyable read-aloud, this straightforward but humorous story will delight both adults and children.

Mark Teague wisely has Wendell take responsibility for solving his own problem, though the pigs acknowledge their role in creating the mess and help clean the room. Though his conflict with his mother and the turmoil that precedes the resolution are painfully realistic, the story's silliness and the appeal of the friendly pigs prevent the lesson from becoming too obvious. Teague's colorful, eye-catching acrylic illustrations fill every other page, and an occasional two-page picture draws the reader into the messy room. Though Wendell appears stiff in some illustrations, small touches, such as a farm-truck license plate that reads "EIEIO," will delight observant children.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about conflict resolution and self-reliance in problem solving. Can you think of a time when you came up with a solution to a difficult situation on your own? When is it OK to ask for help, and when should you try to tackle problems by yourself?

Book details

Author:Mark Teague
Illustrator:Mark Teague
Genre:Picture Book
Book type:Fiction
Publisher:Scholastic Inc.
Publication date:January 1, 1994
Number of pages:31
Publisher's recommended age(s):4 - 7

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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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Kid, 10 years old April 21, 2009
Parent of a 2 and 2 year old Written bymommieoftwo April 24, 2010
age 2+

A really cute way to introduce cleaning or cleanup to the little ones.

My son loves this book, I have read it to him since he was a newborn. He loves to point to shapes that he finds on each page.
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