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The Book Hog

by Greg Pizzoli

Publishers Weekly The Japanese word tsundoku describes books that have piled up in a home without being read. Pizzoli's porcine protagonist certainly accumulates books-he's a relentless buyer and forager-and he adores each volume ("He loved the way they smelled, and the way the pages felt in his hooves. He especially liked the ones with pictures"). But reading procrastination is not his problem. Book Hog has a big secret: "He didn't know how to read. He had never learned." Then Book Hog discovers the library ("he smelled some books inside") and a whole community of book lovers, including a kind librarian whose attentiveness and story times inspire him-"over time, and with practice"-to become a reader. Pizzoli once again employs a candy-colored palette and an ebullient cast-the pink-and-green look, and even some of the characters, are reminiscent of his The Watermelon Seed. And, as always in a Pizzoli book, there are wonderful details: readers will note that the markings on spines of the books go from fuzzy lines to actual titles when the Book Hog learns to read, and that in one spread, he raptly stands right by the librarian's chair, clutching its arm as she reads aloud to the group. Who hasn't seen-or been-that kid? Ages 3-5. Agent: Steven Malk, Writers House. (Mar.) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Horn Book In this celebration of books and reading, the titular pig owns many books, which he loves for their smell, texture, and pictures. It's therefore surprising to learn that he's illiterate. His discovery of library storytimes and eventual acquisition of literacy, with help from the elephant librarian, resolve his dilemma. Pizzoli's concise sentences and humorous, ingeniously detailed cartoon illustrations have great read-aloud appeal. (c) Copyright 2019. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Kirkus A porcine hoarder of books learns to readand to share.The Book Hog's obsession is clear from the start. Short declarative sentences describe his enthusiasm ("The Book Hog loved books"), catalog the things he likes about the printed page, and eventually reveal his embarrassing secret ("He didn't know how to read"). While the text is straightforward, plenty of amusing visual details will entertain young listeners. A picture of the Book Hog thumbing through a book while seated on the toilet should induce some giggles. The allusive name of a local bookshop ("Wilbur's") as well as the covers of a variety of familiar and much-loved books (including some of the author's own) offer plenty to pore over. And the fact that the titles become legible only after our hero learns to read is a particularly nice touch. A combination of vignettes, single-page illustrations and double-page spreads that feature Pizzoli's characteristic styleheavy black outlines, a limited palette of mostly salmon and mint green, and simple shapesmove the plot along briskly. Librarians will appreciate the positive portrayal of Miss Olive, an elephant who welcomes the Book Hog warmly to storytime, though it's unlikely most will be able to match her superlative level of service.There's nothing especially new here, but the good-natured celebration of books, reading, and libraries will charm fellow bibliophiles, and the author's fans will enjoy making another anthropomorphic animal friend. (Picture book. 4-7) Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Book list A beret-sporting pig adores books so much that he acquires them anywhere at yard sales and indie bookstores and savors them everywhere in a tent and on the toilet. Yet as much as he's drawn to their look, feel, and smell, he harbors a secret shame: he can't decode the words inside them. Or he can't, at least, until he catches a whiff of the public library and meets Miss Olive, a spectacle-sporting elephant-slash-librarian who offers him kindness and patience. With lots of practice, he becomes not just a book lover but also a book reader. The pro-library artwork is bold, with happily Pizzolian graphic lines and shapes; bright, with wonderfully audacious pinks and greens; and bookish, sneakily integrating a few familiar book covers (and even a maker space to boot). The characters' expressions are amusing, the straightforward sentences are well structured, and it all works together to truly create a book that readers will be eager to hog.--Andrew Medlar Copyright 2019 Booklist

From Booklist, Copyright American Library Association. Used with permission.