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Thursday, March 22, 2012

Piggy Bunny, written by Rachel Vail and illustrated by Jeffrey Tankard. Feiwel & Friends, Macmillan. 2012. $16.99 ages 3 and up

"Liam felt loved.
But he also felt sad.
Everybody was sure he could
never be the Easter Bunny.
Liam knew they were wrong.
But he wondered a bit...
what if they were right?"

Liam is young piglet with self-esteem oozing out of his pores. He has knowledge that he does belong to the pig family, but he is much more interested in being the Easter Bunny. To that end, he practices hopping, and enjoying an occasional salad, even delivering practice eggs. His progress is measurable.

His family is not sure about his life choice and try to discourage him from following his dream. His siblings think he is a little simple-minded, while his parents love him just as he is and wish he could be happy to be so. Liam is determined, and set on changing his own destiny.

Sensing his family's disbelief in his dream, there is a point where he begins to doubt himself:
"‘This is the kind of problem’ he said, ‘that is called heartbreaking.’”


While his parents may be expressing some uncertainty about his future calling, his grandmother is supportive and tries to allay any worries he might have:

“They just have the imagination of a kumquat, the lot of them.”

Grandma and Grandpa remain adamant that they will find a solution to the identity problem:

"‘This is the kind of problem,’ he whispered, ‘that is called fixable.’”

And fix it they do...with a little help from the internet, leaving Liam to live his life as the Easter Bunny he has always seen himself being.

Laugh out loud funny, while also poignant and uplifting; young readers will want to share this story repeatedly. Jeremy Tankard creates his characters using thick ink outlines, expressive faces,  movement, and variety in perspective. It is wonderful in every way and a perfect Easter gift!

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