Share the Wealth! All for Me and None for All by Helen Lester
GRUNTLY WAS A BALL HOG.
IF THERE WAS A SOMETHING, HE WANTED IT ALL.
"WHAT A HOG!" SNORTED HAMPSHIRE, BERKSHIRE, AND YORKY.
"HE BESTOWS NEW MEANING UPON THE WORD," WISE WOOLWORTH SAID.
"CLUCK," SAID CLUCK. SHE WAS A CHICKEN OF FEW WORDS.
Gruntly is a pig with a double dose of the deadly sin of greed. He operates under the motto: What's mine is mine and what's yours is mine, too.
He swipes his little terrier friend Yorky's shoes. He sneaks up on Cluck the hen and Woolworth the sheep to filch feathers and fleece right off their backs to fill his pillows.
Even fellow pigs Berkshire and Hampshire find his avarice totally over the top.
And when the local parks department sponsors a treasure hunt, Gruntly's little eyes immediately glow with swinish greed. "All for ME!" he gloats.
But in his haste to capture all the treasure, Gruntly takes off half-cocked. While his colleagues confer carefully over the rhyming clues, Gruntly is off and running, misinterpreting each clue.
Go fifty steps
Then you will see
Clue number one,
Often wrong, but never in doubt, Gruntly heads for the sea, while the others pool their wisdom and wisely decide to search for the next clue under a tree. Similarly, he looks under a bird's wing instead of under the playground swing, and under his fellow hog instead of the more logical log.
When Gruntly sees his friends successfully clutching their treasures, individual bags of trail mix, he finally begins to doubt his modus operandi. The kindly Cluck finally takes pity and takes him to the treasure trove.
AND THEN CLUCK GOT DOWN ON HER KNEES (OR WHATEVER CHICKENS GET DOWN ON) AND POINTED WAY LOW WITH HER BEAK.
Gruntly snatches up the last treasure bag. But just as he's about to bury his snout in the snacks, he has a epic epiphany:
THE OTHERS HAD SAVED IT.
NO ONE HAD GRABBED IT.
OR HOGGED IT.
Greed is NOT good. Gruntly finally gets it, in Helen Lester's forthcoming All for Me and None for All (Houghton Mifflin, 2012), a friendly little fable of gluttony overcome, with plenty of giggles along the way. Primary schoolers will laugh over Gruntly's doltish misinterpretations of the rhyming clues and celebrate the prodigal pig's enlightenment as he shares his own treats with his thoughtful friends. As in their best-selling Tacky the Penguin (Book and CD) (Read Along Book & CD) and Hooway for Wodney Wat book and CD and their worthy sequels, Lynn Munsinger's jolly pastel illustrations add just the right reinforcing humor to Lester's timely tale of altruism (well, sort of) found.