Tuesday, October 24, 2006


Sorry to start this review on a personal note, but WOW! Look at the wonderful gift my husband Jim gave to me! He designed this beautiful linoleum print poster; you'll notice it features my American hero, Johnny "Appleseed" Chapman. Every day he planted a seed, and in that way, he was able to change the landscape of our nation. I always think of reading aloud every day as a seed that we can plant that can also change our nation. Jim really ran with that...he has done limited edition posters for social concerns (and rock bands) for years, and I am really touched that he has commemorated our literacy efforts with his art. Thanks for letting me share my excitement and gratitude here at Book-a-Day...if you are interested, the poster is available for sale at his website.

In Jim's honor, since he is vegetarian, may I recommend to you the following
HUBERT THE PUDGE: A VEGETARIAN TALE by Henrick Drescher (Candlewick) By using nondescript pig-like beasts called "pudges," this irreverent author is able to take us unflinchingly into Farmer Jake's Pudge Processing Farm, where the animals are fenced in and stunted. "Every part of the pudge was used. Even the squeal, which was canned and installed in car alarms and foghorns." One ambitious little guy named Hubert takes advantage of his chance to escape, fleeing into a jungle that is at first threatening and then brimming with friends. Free to frolic and feed, he grows to his natural, unhindered size, which happens to be enormous (see the elephants meandering on his back?). Hubert's heart is heavy, though, imagining the fate of other pudges at the processing plant, and he decides that it is time to return...and give old Farmer Jake the surprise of his life. The colorful, sketchy, almost surreal illustration style which some of you may remember from his famous imaginative foray SIMON'S BOOK, in which a boy's artwork comes to life, is back in full play, with plenty of laugh-out-loud moments, not the least of which is Farmer Jake's transformation into a...well, read it and see! Though the subject is loaded, the story is told with such a sense of fun and justice that defenses melt away and you will be cheering for the animal's sweet victory, whatever side of the herbivore/carnivore argument you fall. (5 and up)

Links are provided for informational use. Don't forget to support your local bookseller.

1 comment:

Sarah P. Stone said...

I ran across Hubert the Pudge in Cody's Books today and was a little skeptical. I mean, great kids' books are often didactic, but how many have subtitles like 'A Vegetarian Tale'? I was afraid it would give us veggies a bad name. But ultimately I loved it, both as a friend to the animals and as a card-carrying children's librarian. (I confess it also helps that my nickname as a baby was Sarah the Pudge.)


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