Pig the grub by Aaron Blabey

cover image

Scholastic, 2018. ISBN 9781742769691
(Age: 4+) Highly recommended. Themes: Dogs. Bath time. Smells. With wonderful words that rhyme with "rotten" and "rank" and "muck" that will bring lots of laughter from young readers, Blabey shows Pig the pug's antics as he does everything he can to avoid being bathed. He is the smelliest dog around, known for his loathsome habits shown in some detail in the book and readily recognised by the audience. He scrapes his bottom along the ground, rolls in the mud, drags things from the bin, licks up flavours long past their use by date, loves playing with poo, sniffs other dogs' bottoms and even drinks from the loo.
All these gross habits will resonate with kids as they read, screaming out words which reflect their disgust at Pig's habits.
So when mum decides it is time for the bath, Pig does all he can to avoid the torture. He gallops through the house, avoiding capture at every turn until, armed with a wrench, he turns the water off in the bathroom.
Kids will applaud his inventiveness but the action causes the water to explode from the wall, making his having a bath inevitable.
Sitting in the bath, Pig has his revenge, because even here he can cause mayhem with a smell.
A wonderful new story about Pig the pug, Blabey invests his little dog with such mischievous looks that everyone will be entranced by him. The looks on his face are priceless, Blabey able to give a knowing look on that pug face with absolute conviction.
Blabey's illustrations, acrylic with pen and pencil, are a delight from the mud pawed endpapers, to Pig's pink shower cap, the overturned bin and the knowing looks of the pig's companion - each page bringing a fresh look to peruse and look at more closely. The use of different sized font, italics and white space make reading this out loud a treat, and younger readers will adore predicting the next word in the line, after they have finished laughing.
Fran Knight