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"Goin' to town, gonna buy a little pig. Jig jog jig jog jiggety-jig!" The old woman. –The Old Woman and Her Pig
The Old Woman and Her Pig
by Margaret Read MacDonald
AR Test, Picture Book
Based on a traditional Appalachian folktale, an old woman goes into town to buy a pig for a penny. As she walks the pig home, the pig refuses to go over a bridge. The old woman pushes and pulls, cries and cajoles, with no luck. The old woman asks a dog, a pig, and a cat to help but they all refuse. In the end, everyone crosses the bridge, the old woman makes it home by nightfall and is able to dance a jig with her little boy.
Bright and colorful cartoon-like pictures give the story a cheerful feeling. The text is told using various font sizes, which allows the author to emphasize some lines. Each page uses repetition and onomatopoeia sounds, which younger children will enjoy. The friendly animals have funny facial expressions that add humor to the story.
Despite the cheerful pictures, this silly story falls flat. Unlike most folklore, Old Woman and Her Pig has little action. Instead of leaving the reader with a moral, the story leaves the reader wondering what the point of the story was. With so many books to choose from, readers may want to skip reading Old Woman and Her Pig. If you’re looking for a humorous book featuring a pig, the Mercy Watson Series by Kate DiCamill would be a better choice.
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