restricted access I Love You Like a Pig by Mac Barnett (review)
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Reviewed by
Barnett, Mac I Love You Like a Pig; illus. by Greg Pizzoli. Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins, 2017 [34p]
ISBN 978-0-06-235483-9 $17.99
Reviewed from galleys Ad 3-6 yrs

Love, joy, and ridiculous similes come together in this confectionary absurdity from noted talents Barnett and Pizzoli. Sentences that may not make immediate sense on their own (“I’m lucky like a window”) get a funny interpretation (the beloved titular pig and his pal feast on a blueberry pie found cooling on a windowsill) in accompanying pictures in an exploration of the speaker’s affection. Some of the similes are so far out there they’re hard to follow, however, and the text is ultimately a fairly random list. The art helps pull it together with the thread of a story, or at least a musical number, as a pack of kids cheer each other, the beloved pig, a kindly elephant, some mischievous mice, a tuna, and a few other figures; mostly, though, this is just about the joy of expressing fondness in silly ways. The digital art has the grainy robustness of silkscreen combined with the flat exaggeration of cartoon, and the matte pages and dusty notes of the retro-colored palette bring subtlety. The layout carefully partners text page (backgrounded by solid color) against illustration page, with the occasional double-page spread when the happy crowd of kids and/or critters break into a chorus of oinks. While a cuddly lapsit readaloud with lots of dramatic astonishment and side conversation will be this title’s natural use, it could also provoke discussion in an early language arts curriculum. [End Page 5]