Picture Books – Ping Pong Pig

All of the animals on the farm are hard workers…except for Ping Pong Pig, who is far more interested in learning how to fly. “Pigs can’t fly” the other animals tell him sadly. But his attempts disrupt the farmyard, until the farm animals get together to try to help out Ping Pong Pig.

Reason number one to like this book are the illustrations, done by the author Caroline Jayne Church. The pictures are appealing in their simplicity, filled with strong outlines and simple lines. The bright colors are subtly modified for texture and dimensionality. Pig’s active personality comes through clearly, as he jumps around the page attempting to fly.

If you need a second reason to like the book, there is the plot, and the underlying assumption about helping others. Even if the other animals are working partly in their own self interests (Ping Pong pig has been accidentally destroying the farm yard), it is still kind of the animals to find a distraction for the pig, rather than to, say, build a cage or otherwise punish him. When Ping Pong Pig has “the best time EVER”, he decides he needs to do something nice in exchange, and goes out of his way to do extra farm work for the other animals (and uses his new trampoline to do so, proving that you can do work and have fun a the same time.) Both kids and adults can sometimes lose sight of gratitude; it’s therefore pleasant to see it part of a story in which that gratitude is simply a part of the story rather than an Important Lesson that is heavy-handedly pointed out.

A deceptively simple story with appealing illustrations, Ping Pong Pig is sure to be a hit with young children and their parents.


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