Under a Pig Tree: A History of the Noble Fruit (A Mixed-Up Book)

illus. by Chuck Groenink. 40p. Abrams. Apr. 2015. Tr $16.95. ISBN 9781419714887. LC 2014019616.
Gr 2–4—The conceit of this book is that the author wrote all about figs, but her editor substituted the word pigs instead. The narrative consists of a story with a series of mistakes made by the editor with notes and frustrated asides made by the author. The tale begins with the history of figs and ends with recipes containing figs, all the while looking like a book about pigs. The conceit is humorous for a page or two but soon becomes tiresome. The story seems thin and the layout makes it challenging to read to multiple children. The illustrations are charming, with pigs tumbling across the pages and nesting in trees, but the illustrations cannot overcome the weak text. The intended audience is unclear. The illustrations would appeal to a primary-age child, but the meaning and humor are targeted at the third-grade level. Younger children might not understand the relationship between the editor and the author, as well as the editing process.
VERDICT An additional purchase only.

Be the first reader to comment.

Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing