Monday, July 31, 2017

Winning, Winning, Winning! Pig the (Pug) Winner by Aaron Blabey

Yes, Pig was a winner.
He just had to win.
And nothing would stop him.
Oh, where to begin?

You can't win 'em all, says the old saw? "Win some, lose some, they say?

Not in Pug's book!

Believe it or not,
He was quite hard to beat.
And the reason was simple...
Yes, Pug was a cheat.

Pig the Pug is not an only dog. His housemate is a gentle dachshund named Trevor, a long-suffering pooch in more ways than one. Pug competes over everything--toys and treats and time on lap--and in a race, he's not above planting a well-placed hind foot in the face of his competitor. He's worse than a sore loser; in his mind he never loses. And if he is not declared the winner, he pitches a tantrum until the real winner gets tired of the fit and hands over the prize. Of course, Pug wastes no time in starting to boast he's the real winner again. Winning is not the best thing; it's the only thing!

Poor Trevor tries to suggest that they can play just for fun, but Pig has only one answer:


And one day even eating becomes an Olympic event.

When their dishes are filled with their doggy dinners, Trevor begins to eat daintily, but Pig wolfs his food, determined to be the first to finish.

He gobbles his kibble!

Pig swallows his sausages whole hog without bothering to savor a morsel, and unfortunately he bites off more than he can chew.

He swallows his whole bowl!

It's little Trevor to the rescue with the dachshund version of the Heimlich Maneuver. Just as he's turning blue, Pig gasps and begins to breathe again.

Has Pig the Pug learned his lesson? Will he finally lose his obsession with winning? Young readers will hope not after laughing their way through Aaron Blabey's Pig the Winner (Pig the Pug) (Scholastic Books, 2017). Pig the Pug is the kind of protagonist we love to hate, and readers will be rooting to read Trevor's next triumph. Author-illustrator Aaron Blabey's Pig is definitely a winner in the picture book trade, beginning with his recent Pig the Pug (see review here), and there are two more in this series waiting in the wings in Australia in which young American readers can anticipate the egotistical Pig's getting another jolly comeuppance. Says Kirkus Reviews, "The goggle-eyed cartoon illustrations are fun, funny, and appealingly grotesque in their exaggerated goofiness, and they are a good match for the rhyming text."

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