Jen Storer (text), Sue deGennaro (illus), Clarrie’s Pig Day Out, ABC Books/HarperCollins, 1 March 2016, 32pp., $24.99 (hbk), ISBN 9780733334443
From a drive in the jar, no wait the car, to a gift of red noses, I mean roses, Clarrie’s Pig Day Out is loads of sun (oops, I meant fun). With silly situations and crazy commotion, readers follow farmer Clarrie as he heads out for a day of errands, but nothing goes as planned since he can’t seem to find the right words.
Young ones (aged three and up) will love yelling out the correct words as they figure them out through the engaging images or Clarrie’s attempts to figure out the word himself. Clever typesetting highlights the erroneous words giving readers (and listeners) a chance to decifer what Clarrie really meant. It’s a wonderful way to introduce or revisit rhyming words and build vocabulary.
Sue deGennaro’s illustrations have such wonderful detail – look for Clarrie’s mismatched socks. The zany scenes, like transporting three chickens in a car, for one, are hilarious. The sketch-like drawings and pale colour palette let the story shine through while giving lots of clues about what is actually happening, despite Clarrie’s mistaken explanations.
I absolutely loved this book. Reading it with my 4 1/2 year old was so much fun for both of us. This is a book you’ll read many times. In fact, the first time was a bit confusing for my son and he kept looking at me like I had forgotten how to read. But once he caught on that the errors were in the story, he started shouting out the correct words with a big smile on his face.
This is a truly unique picture book that lends to an interactive reading experience and lots of opportunities to learn. Complete teacher’s notes and student activities to go along with the book are available on the HarperCollins website.
Reviewed by Stephanie Ward