Pig the winner by Aaron Blabey

cover image

Scholastic, 2016. ISBN 9781760154288
(Age: 4+) Highly recommended. Cheating, Winning, Good sportsmanship. Pig the pug loves to win. But he will do anything to come first, as Trevor finds out. If he doesn't win by putting his foot out to trip Trevor in a race, then he throws a tantrum so fierce that Trevor gives in telling him he has won. The long suffering Trevor can only look on as Pig goes to great lengths to overcome his partner, but one fateful day, Pig suggests that they see who can eat their food the fastest. Trevor decides that this is not for him and declines the invitation to compete, but this does not faze Pig. He wolfs down all the food he can find, his treats, his biscuits, his bowl of dog food, but incredibly in his haste, he finds that he has eaten his bowl.
Good old Trevor knows just what to do, grabbing the dog form behind and giving him a squeeze to force the bowl out. In doing so the bowl ricochets off the ceiling and pushes Pig into the rubbish bin. A much embarrassed Pig then becomes a much nicer dog to be with and plays with Trevor much more fairly, well, most of the time.
This delightful picture book, told in rhyming stanzas will be a hit with younger children who will predict what words will come next when it is read to them, enjoy sharing stanzas with their friends when reading together or discuss the implications of cheating when talking about sports. With so much press devoted to the scandals involving today's sportsmen and women, this is a timely book to introduce the theme with younger children at a level they can understand and laugh about. Blabey's illustrations are always delightful, and this book furthers the adventures of Pig the pug, and Pig the fibber, all subtly teaching some home truths to the readers.
Fran Knight